Alzheimer’s Disease is a commonly-known, widespread form of dementia that causes memory loss and hindrance of other cognitive abilities that interfere with a sufferer’s daily life. More than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. While there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s yet, there are treatments that can slow the effects of symptoms and improve the lives of those dealing with this disease. It is important to know the signs of Alzheimer’s and what to expect if you or someone you know may be experiencing these symptoms. Some common signs include:
· Memory Loss that Interferes with Daily Life – While many of us tend to be forgetful, those with the disease may forget recently learned information, forgetting important dates or events, and asking for the same information repeatedly.
· Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems – Sufferers may notice changes in their ability to work with numbers or follow a plan. Keeping track of bills or following a familiar recipe may become more difficult, and they make take much longer to do things they do routinely
· Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks – Those affected by Alzheimer’s may begin to find it hard to complete tasks they used to commonly do, such as driving to a familiar location or doing daily tasks at work.
· Confusion with Time or Place – Normally, people may be confused about what day of the week it is, but remember later. People with Alzheimer’s may lose track of dates, seasons, or even the passage of time. Other signs include forgetting where they are or how they got there.
· Difficulty Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships – Having vision issues can sometimes be an indicator of Alzheimer’s, as sufferers may have difficulty reading, judging distance, or determining a color.
· Issues with Words in Speaking or Writing – People with Alzheimer’s may find it hard to follow or join a conversation. They may forget how to continue a conversation, repeat themselves, or have trouble with finding the right word to describe something.
· Misplacing Things and Losing Ability to Retrace Steps – Someone with Alzheimer’s may put things in strange places or lose something and become unable to retrace their steps to find them.
· Decreased or Poor Judgment – A sufferer may experience a lapse in judgment or decision-making, such as dealing with money or keeping up their hygiene.
· Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities – Someone with Alzheimer’s may begin to retract from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may forget how to complete a favorite hobby or could be afraid of social situations due to the changes they are experiencing.
· Changes in Mood and Personality – As is understandable, someone with Alzheimer’s may become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious.
If you or a loved one experiences any of these ten signs, schedule an appointment with your doctor. If identified early enough, treatments can be made available and maintaining independence can last much longer. If you are in need of a physician, please call our physician referral line, 996 – WEST.