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Ten Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s By Hannah White, Communications Specialist, Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapt

  September 08, 2018

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. There is a difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Knowing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and getting diagnosed early is vital to receiving the best help and care possible. The Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 warning signs and symptoms to look out for if you think you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them; schedule an appointment with your doctor.
  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the signs of early Alzheimer’s is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates and events, asking for the same information after being told and told again, and an increase of relying on things to jog their memories, such as notes or family members for things they used to be able to handle on their own.

  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems: Challenges arise in planning or solving problems. For some, they may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan. They may also have trouble working with numbers. Because of this, they may have trouble keeping up with monthly bills or a familiar recipe. They may have difficulty concentrating and take a longer amount of time to do things they were once able to do with ease.

  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure: People with Alzheimer’s often have difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or in their everyday life. Those living with Alzheimer’s often find it difficult to complete daily tasks such as driving to a familiar place, managing their budget, or remembering the rules to a favorite game.

  4. Confusion with time or place: Confusion with time or place as well as forgetting where they are or how they got there can be a sign. People living with Alzheimer’s have the tendency to lose track of dates, seasons, and the passing of time.

  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving.

  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing: Those with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining in on a conversation. They may stop mid-sentence not knowing what to say or struggle with vocabulary and even have problems finding the right words or call things by a different name.

  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: It is not uncommon for someone with Alzheimer’s to lose items as well as the ability to retrace their steps. They may place things in unusual places or accuse others of stealing, which may occur more frequently over time.

  8. Decreased or poor judgment: Decreased or poor judgment can affect people living with Alzheimer’s decision making. They may use poor judgment when it comes to money and start to pay less attention to grooming and hygiene.

  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities: A person living with Alzheimer’s may start to withdraw from work or social activities. They may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, and even sports. They could have trouble remembering a favorite sports team and may avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.

  10. Changes in mood and personality: Changes in mood and personality is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. They can experience being anxious, confused, depressed, fearful, and suspicious. This can cause them to be easily upset at work, with friends, or whenever they feel out of their comfort zone.
We offer many of these services locally at our Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter Springfield office, located at 2309 W. White Oaks Dr, Suite E. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to providing accessible, high quality, and reliable support both in person and on the phone. Those calling our free 24/7 Helpline can receive help in their preferred language through our bilingual staff or translation service, which accommodates more than 200 languages. If you or a loved one needs assistance or guidance, you can call the free 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 to get the help you need. You can also go to our website at www.alz.org/illinois to find more local information. Back to Top

September 08, 2018


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