While some memory loss and moderate cognitive decline may be part of the aging process, severe cognitive decline is not normal. It is already well-understood that early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can provide intervention opportunities, which may not reverse the disease, but might be able to slow its progression. Therefore, it is important to know some of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
- Memory loss that impacts daily life. This is memory loss that is more significant than occasional forgetfulness, which is normal.
- Difficulty completing daily living tasks.
- Confusion about time.
- Confusion about place.
- Planning problems.
- Problem-solving problems. This refers to new challenges to your problem-solving ability, which were not previously present.
- Changes in the ability to understand spatial relationships, which can impact depth perception, the ability to read, and color-perception. Changes in vision, most notably cataracts should be ruled out, as they can also cause these changes.
- Frequently misplacing things, combined with the inability to retrace steps in order to locate the misplaced item.
- Difficulty following conversations.
- Difficulty with speech. Speech can also be impacted by strokes, so if the major symptom is a problem with speech, stroke should be ruled out as a potential cause.
- Changes in mood.
While not exactly a symptom of Alzheimer’s, friends and family should be on the lookout for withdrawal from social activities. When cognitive degeneration begins, many people find themselves unable to enjoy previously enjoyable activities and hobbies, and may begin to withdraw from them. This can be one of the first overt signs of decline.
If you or a loved one is experiencing dementia, at-home care is still an option, but you may need comprehensive daytime respite services. South Amboy Adult Day Health Care Center’s Dementia Care can provide the backup you need to care for a person with Alzheimer’s.
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