Everyone struggles sometimes to remember names or dates, but how do you know if your frequent memory loss is a symptom of something more serious?
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. The number of people living with this disease is expected to rise to 14 MILLION by 2050.
So with those numbers in mind, how are we supposed to help?
We’ve complied a list of 20 signs of Alzheimer’s that may indicate something more serious may be going on inside your head.
1. Memory Loss of Recent Events
This may seem like the most obvious, but the biggest type of memory loss to look out for is when recently learned information is being forgotten. This could be anything from forgetting the date and time of an appointment, to asking for the same information repeatedly.
Some memory loss with aging is expected, but when it begins to interfere with daily life is when something may be up.
2. Losing Items
Someone with Alzheimer’s has a hard time remembering where they put items. They may frequently misplace things or put them in strange places. It’s possible they will struggle to retrace their steps to find the items again.
3. Frequent Agitation
The mood of someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s can shift quickly. They may find themselves feeling scared, anxious, confused, angry, suspicious, and even depressed.
This type of agitation shouldn’t be confused with someone who gets irritable when a routine is disrupted, that’s expected.
4. Lack of Interest
Someone with Alzheimer’s will begin to withdraw from activities or hobbies they used to love. Sometimes they’re no longer able to do the activities the way they used to and it becomes frustrating, or they may even feel ashamed.
5. Decreased or Poor Judgement
A person with Alzheimer’s will begin to struggle to maintain their household on their own. They may begin to make poor decisions when it comes to handling money or they hygiene.
It’s also likely for someone suffering from the disease to fall for phone scams or be a victim of fraud.
6. Suspicious of Others
It’s not uncommon for someone with Alzheimer’s to become suspicious of those around them. They may try to give someone a gift but then forget they did, and then accuse that person of stealing.
7. Making Things Up
Someone with Alzheimer’s struggles to pull certain things from their memory. So naturally, if they can’t remember something, they may just start to make things up! If you start to hear someone rambling on about things that just do not make sense – it could be a sign of something more serious.
8. Struggling With Everyday Tasks
As we age, certain things may naturally become more difficult to do, like getting a dish down from the top cabinet. But when someone starts to forget how to make their favorite recipe, or can’t remember the rules to a board game they play all the time, that’s when concerns should be raised.
9. Trouble Judging Distance
Some people may suffer from vision problems due to Alzheimer’s. They may have trouble reading, judging distance or seeing colors. This eventually leads to problems driving or navigating town on their own.
10. Confusion About Time
It’s normal for someone to get confused about the day of the week, and then realize what day it is. Someone with Alzheimer’s is likely to be confused about time or even where they are. They may think they’re a different age, in a different city, or even a different decade.
11. Changes in Problem Solving Skills
For some, changes in the ability to solve problems bay be common. They may have trouble following a plan, concentrating, or finding solutions on their own. It may take longer for them to do things that they’ve done before.
12. New Problems With Words
Sometimes it’s hard for someone with Alzheimer’s to follow along in a conversation. They may have trouble thinking of a certain word, so they substitute it for a word they’re not used to using. Some may even have a hard time remembering how to spell or write certain words.
So what can you do?
Keep your eyes peeled for some of the signs. One big thing to look out for is CHANGE. If you notice someone is starting to forget things more than they used to, that’s a red flag.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, the best course of action is to talk to a doctor. A doctor will be able to provide you with knowledge about your symptoms and the best treatment.