As we age, we naturally start to experience memory loss. But when does normal memory loss cross over into Alzheimer’s or Dementia? The early signs of both disorders are often dismissed as “senior moments.” But if your loved one struggles with memory loss, mood swings or confusion, it may be signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Look for these 10 warning signs.
Repeated Memory Loss
Occasionally forgetting doctor’s appointments or names is a normal part of aging, but people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia frequently experience memory loss. It may start as forgetting recently learned information, forgetting important dates or asking for the same information repeatedly.
Difficulty Problem Solving
Does it seem to take your loved one longer to do familiar tasks? Were they once able to balance their checkbook, but now struggle understanding the numbers? A person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may have difficulty concentrating and following plans or understanding numbers.
Inability to Complete Familiar Tasks
Alzheimer’s or Dementia can cause your loved one to struggle with routine tasks. It can be as simple as forgetting directions to a familiar place, trouble preparing meals or remembering rules to a favorite game.
Confusion with Time or Place
Occasional disorientation is common, as long as the person later remembers. People with Alzheimer’s or Dementia have difficulty keeping track of dates. They may think it’s a different day or year, or forget where they are and how they got there.
For some people, vision problems can be another sign of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Difficulty reading, judging distance or determining color or contrast are all symptoms. If the person doesn’t have any other vision-related health issues, Alzheimer’s or Dementia could be to blame.
Problems with Language
We all occasionally have trouble finding the right word, but a person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia will stumble with language frequently. They may forget common words and use odd words in their place. They may trail off in the middle of a conversation or repeat themselves.
Frequently Misplacing Things
Losing keys every now and then is common, but Alzheimer’s and Dementia interfere with a person’s ability to remember where they placed items. If your loved one frequently loses things and can’t retrace their steps, that may be a sign. They may also leave things in seemingly random places, then forget that they put them there.
Decreased or Poor Judgment
People with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may struggle with decision-making and judgment calls. They may fall prey to telemarketing schemes or other money scams.
If your loved one seems to have no interest in favorite activities or hobbies, that could be a sign of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. They may start to remove themselves from favorite hobbies, social activities, work or sports. They may start keeping to themselves more and more.
Changes in Mood and Personality
Alzheimer’s and Dementia can cause extreme mood and personality changes. People with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious, especially in unfamiliar situations. They may also experience rapid mood swings.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it’s important to talk to their doctor as soon as possible. If Alzheimer’s or Dementia is detected early, your loved one can receive the best benefit from treatments. You can then take steps for make an action plan for deciding on treatments, finding a caregiver and taking preventative steps.
Martin Luther Campus is part of the Ebenezer family of Lutheran Senior Care Communities. We provide transitional care and assisted living apartments for seniors in Bloomington. We also have adult day clubs and memory care programs for seniors living at home. We’re located at 1401 East 100th St. Bloomington, MN. Are you interested in transitioning to assisted living or do you have a loved one that needs assisted living? Call us at 952.888.7751
Director of Community Relations
Hello friends, my name is Kate and I'd love to share with you ALL of the wonderful things happening at Martin Luther Campus. Be sure to check our Blog, Lifestyle page and Facebook page often to stay updated on the happenings at our community!