Telltale signs of Alzheimer’s disease
Posted: Oct 10, 2018
It is common for seniors over 55 years old to experience forgetfulness, but how do you know the memory lapse is simply from aging or a sign of Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that refers to loss of memory and of other cognitive abilities that usually interferes with seniors’ daily activities. While forgetfulness happens once in a while, Alzheimer’s worsens and becomes more prominent as individuals lose the ability to respond to stimuli in their environment. As an example, most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have a hard time carrying on a conversation. The Alzheimer’s Association gives a guideline of 10 symptoms to watch out for to figure out if the symptoms their loved ones exhibit is just part of aging or a sign of Alzheimer’s.
Memory lost is most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s, however; forgetting details such as names is also part of aging. What separates someone with Alzheimer’s is they tend to repeat themselves in asking the same information and they increasingly rely on memory aids and family to remember things. If your loved one forgets some details but later remembers them, it may likely be just a normal phase of aging.
Problem solving and planning also poses challenges for people who are aging. Those with Alzheimer’s, however, start to find it difficult to do the usual tasks they do that involve this skill. As an example, if your mom can’t remember how to make her usual casserole dish—a family favourite—then consider it a red flag. If your dad forgets to pay the water bill, but remembers a few days after the due date, consider it part of aging.
Keeping an eye on your loved ones’ daily tasks may also be a good idea. If you find that they find it hard to complete multiple of their daily tasks, such as driving to their usual spot in the afternoon or playing their favourite board game, then you might want to observe them more.
People with Alzheimer’s are more prone to forgetting time, dates, and places compared to the average person. It is not uncommon for them to forget how to get to a place after driving there. They also tend to get frustrated and confused if they don’t understand how something happened, as they lose track of the passage of time. However, if they start asking you what day of the week, don’t fret, it happens to everyone once in a while.
Aside from having troubles keeping track of time and places, they also struggle to use their senses to understand spatial relationships. Worsening eyesight is not the best indicator of Alzheimer’s because it becomes common as people age, but it is a symptom of Alzheimer’s too. On top of that, judging distances and identifying colours and shades become a hard chore.
Communication will also prove to be harder as their writing and verbal skills will decline with age. As previously mentioned, good conversations are harder to come by, as they tend to repeat themselves and forget the appropriate words to use. If they start using descriptors to refer to things as opposed to their proper terms, it may be a warning sign.
Misplacing things is common to all of us, but when your loved ones start putting things in the wrong places. Say, they left their wallet in the freezer and locked themselves out too many times, may be time to bring them to a doctor. People with Alzheimer’s constantly misplace things and can even go as far as accusing others of stealing if they get frustrated. They also struggle to retrace their steps, which should have been an easy task for people who are normally aging.
One warning flag to spot if your loved one is exhibiting Alzheimer’s is their deteriorating judgement skills. A common behaviour is giving large amounts of money to people they do not know well, such as door-to-door salesmen or telemarketers. They also find it hard to know when they need to clean themselves after certain activities.
Because of the frustrations that come with Alzheimer’s, those who have it tend to withdraw from their social circles and from other social activities that they usually like. Adding to that is the mood swings they experience. They have a tendency to get easily upset and even suspicious or anxious of things that used to not bother them.
If loved ones have exhibited a couple of these symptoms, have them checked and start planning for the future. While it is currently untreatable, there are ways to lessen its effects.
Physical activity and social interactions are two ways to help people with Alzheimer’s. Maintaining a healthy diet will be beneficial in helping individuals with Alzheimer’s function properly and maintain the energy they need to do the tasks they usually love to do. On top of that, exercising will help reduce the stress and frustrations they experience. Retirement communities in Kansas City, MO such as that of The Summit At Viewcrest helps seniors maintain an active lifestyle through their CONNECT 55+ program. Having a daily routine for them will also be beneficial as it reduces the amount of decision-making they need to make on regular intervals. Aside from being physically healthy, it also helps to stay connected with people they are comfortable with. Independent senior apartments in Des Moines, IA that encourages socializing include Prairie View Senior Village that provides a charming library and dining area for residents to gather and socialize with neighbors. This community may be among the best senior apartments in Indianola, IA as it allows residents to experience both the urban and the rural scene. There are farmer markets, an art centre, and restaurants while at the same time, allowing residents to run or bike in the High Trestle Trail. In engaging them, they’ll be able to vent out their worries and share laughs that will give them the encouragement they need to keep positive. Living with Alzheimer’s does not always need to be difficult; it can still continue to be meaningful as long as everyone involved will be positive in dealing with it.
This is the syndicated copy of an original article posted at https://www.calamar.com/telltale-signs-of-alzheimers-disease
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