What Are the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?
If you’re always losing your keys or forgetting why you came into a room, you may be worried that you’re developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone in your concern. We are here to help you and your loved ones.
Occasionally, forgetting things is a part of life and, to some extent, a part of the natural aging process. However, symptoms such as losing track of the time of year or having difficulty continuing a conversation can indicate a problem, according to the National Institute on Aging.
By knowing the early warning signs, you’ll know if your loved one would be a candidate for Alzheimer’s Care. There are many Alzheimer’s Care Communities and memory care centers—like the ones at Coastal Pointe—that can provide help in a relaxing and peaceful environment.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
This is a brain disorder that dramatically damages memory and thinking skills. It’s a progressive disease, and eventually, it affects the ability to complete even the most basic tasks.
Estimates from the National Institute on Aging suggest that around 5.5 million Americans have the disease. It’s the sixth leading cause of death among Americans.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
There is no one definite cause of Alzheimer’s. Researchers think that the disorder is caused by several different genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.
Alzheimer’s Disease occurs when brain proteins aren’t able to function correctly. As a result, neurons, the part of the brain that form “connections,” are damaged. Typically, this begins in the part of the brain that is responsible for memory.
What Are the Risk Factors For Alzheimer’s?
Age is the most common risk factor for the disorder. Others include:
- Genetics – Alzheimer’s Disease tends to run in families.
- Down syndrome
- A decline in thinking or cognitive impairment
- Previous head trauma or injury
- Insufficient sleep or sleep disorders
- Failure to participate in activities that use your brain
- Lifestyle factors, such as:
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
At What Age Does Alzheimer’s Disease Usually Begin?
Typically, it occurs in someone’s 60s or later. There is a type of Alzheimer’s called early onset that can occur in the 40s and 50s, but that comprises only 5 percent of cases, according to information from the Neurology Times.
The typical age of onset is around 65.
Remember that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s may vary from person to person, which can make it challenging to diagnose at any age.
What Are the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s?
If your loved one is exhibiting any of the following signs, we encourage you to speak to a health care provider.
- Memory issues
As we mentioned earlier, occasionally misplacing objects and having some memory issues are not, in themselves, a sign of Alzheimer’s. However, if these memory problems interfere with day-to-day life, then you should take notice because this could be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Inability to plan
Difficulty developing, formulating and following through on a plan can be indicative of Alzheimer’s. You should also look for indicators such as:
- Having problems keeping track of monthly bills
- Inability to work with numbers
- Taking much longer to do things than before
- Problems completing routine tasks
Something as simple as following a favorite recipe can be problematic for those with Alzheimer’s disease. They may also have difficulties organizing a grocery list or operating a microwave. It’s not unusual for them to get lost or confused when driving to a familiar location.
- Difficulty determining time or place
Those with Alzheimer’s may be unable to determine the passage of time. This means they’ll lose track of dates and even the changes in the seasons. They may even forget where they are.
- Vision problems
In certain cases, those with Alzheimer’s have trouble with their eyesight, which can lead to problems with balance or reading. Judging distance and determining color can also become problematic, according to information from the Alzheimer’s Association of America.
- Developing a problem with words
If your loved one has difficulty following a conversation or struggles extensively with vocabulary, they may have an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. As mentioned earlier, an occasional problem with finding the right word isn’t a cause for concern. However, when this interferes with the ability to communicate, you should seek help from a doctor.
- Misplacing items.
We all misplace things from time to time. However, those with Alzheimer’s are unable to retrace their steps to try to find the objects again. It’s not unusual for them to accuse others of stealing the missing items.
- Poor judgment
If you notice your loved one having difficulty keeping him or herself clean or suddenly making poor decisions with money, then you should be wary. Granted, occasional bad choices are a part of life. But if there is a sudden change in judgment, it may be cause for concern.
- Failure to go to work or social activities
If your loved one has difficulty following conversations, you may notice that they are withdrawing from social activities that were once enjoyed. This often spills over into the workplace environment as well.
- Transformation of personality
Everyone can be moody once in a while, and many of us can become irritated when our routine is interrupted. However, those with Alzheimer’s may experience these mood and personality changes in a more extreme way. They may become:
- Extremely moody
If you’re seeing these symptoms, you should contact a health care professional who will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and help you create a plan to help the one you love.
What Are Memory Care Centers?
Memory Care Centers, like the ones we have at Coastal Pointe, provide Alzheimer’s care. This means we have a safe, relaxing and secure environment to help your loved one. We’ll also work on their cognitive abilities while allowing them a chance to enjoy hobbies and other activities.
Our staff members are trained specifically for providing Alzheimer’s care.
In addition, we’ll provide services such as meals, laundry and other tasks of daily living to help your loved one. Many of our residents have benefited from our Alzheimer’s care community.
See Why Our Residents Love Living at Coastal Pointe
When you’re at Coastal Pointe, you don’t just have a room—you have an address. Our Main Street concept provides familiar surroundings that are geared toward providing a wealth of activities while providing compassionate care in a relaxing environment.
Learn more about Coastal Pointe and contact us for a tour. We look forward to discussing how we can help you or your loved one.