As our parents, grandparents, and spouses or significant others age, we get to observe them moving through the “normal” aging process. But what is “normal?” While some things like forgetting birthdays or misplacing keys may be normal as people get older, other signs could be a prelude to something more serious like Alzheimer's disease. It is important that we recognize these signs as early as possible.
If your loved one forgets an occasional appointment but can remember them later on, this is normal. But if you find yourself constantly repeating the same information or important dates and information they used to be able to remember on their own, this may be a sign of Alzheimer's disease.
Do you find yourself having to take up tasks like cooking for your family, even though that is something they were able to do in the past? Sometimes following plans or simple recipes can be very difficult for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Confusion About Time
Occasionally forgetting the time or day of week may be normal but if you find yourself having to remind your loved one of where they are and how they got there, this is not a part of the normal aging process. They also may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening in the exact moment they are in.
Problems With Words In Speaking And Writing
People living with Alzheimer’s disease can have trouble joining or staying in a conversation. Watching your loved one go into a daze, constantly repeating themselves while in conversation, or having trouble remembering words could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Constantly Misplacing Items
Finding items in odd places, like seeing items like house keys in the sink are not normal occurrences of old age. Seeing that your loved one is misplacing things and not being able to retrace their steps. Or even accusing you of stealing can be a sign of something more serious.
Withdrawal From Activities
If your once social butterfly family member is now very withdrawn from family and friends, this could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. They may be trying to avoid activities or their favorite hobbies because of the changes they are experiencing.
Have you ever been talking to your loved one and very suddenly their mood shifts to anger, suspicion or confusion? Try not to take this behavior personally. Stay calm and try to help them through whatever emotion they are experiencing because Alzheimer’s disease is known to cause these behaviors.
If the person you know and love is suffering from one or some of these symptoms, they could be showing early signs of Alzheimer's disease. It is very important that you check with their primary care physician to ensure a proper diagnosis. The earlier you can get the proper diagnosis, the better position you will find yourself in to care for your loved one.