Everyone experiences memory lapses from time to time. For instance, you might forget where you left your car keys, or have trouble remembering the name of a person that you recently met.
Changes occur in all parts of the body as we age, including the brain, so occasional forgetfulness can become common. Your loved one might notice that it takes them longer to learn new things, or it may be harder to retain new information. While this is not necessarily cause for immediate concern, it is essential to know what to look for regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we are proud to offer memory care in San Antonio and the surrounding areas, providing fulfilling care with extra attention, compassion, and creativity. To help you stay prepared and proactive, our team is sharing the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease to watch for in your loved one.
So, What Are the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s?
1. Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life
Memory loss that begins to disrupt everyday activities and routines is not a normal sign of aging and should be taken seriously. Some people begin to notice these changes within themselves before family and friends do; however, you may be the first to notice this in your loved one.
Forgetting recently learned information is a common sign in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and can include:
- Having a hard time remembering important dates or plans
- Asking the same questions repeatedly
- Needing to rely on memory aids, like notes or electronic devices
2. Challenges in Planning or Problem-Solving
A typical age-related change in problem-solving or planning can look like the occasional error made while managing finances or paying household bills. However, signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Trouble following familiar recipes
- Difficulty keeping up with monthly bills
- Lack of concentration, or taking longer to do typical tasks
3. Difficulty Completing Tasks
An individual living with Alzheimer’s disease, “may have trouble completing tasks that have been familiar to them all their lives, such as preparing a meal or playing a game,” (Alzheimer Society). Other examples include driving to a familiar location or organizing a grocery list.
4. Confusion with Time or Place
It is natural to not know the exact time or forget what day of the week it is every now and then, but when a person is living with Alzheimer’s disease, it can be a bit more complex. Confusion with time or place for a person in the early stages of the condition could mean:
- Forgetting where they are
- Being unsure of how they got somewhere
- Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time
5. Trouble with Visual or Spatial Relationships
Vision changes are part of natural aging, but when a person is experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it can lead to trouble with balance or distance. For instance, a person with this condition may have difficulty:
- Judging the distance of objects
- Determining color or contrast
- Balancing themselves due to spatial awareness
6. Problems with Speaking and Writing
People living with Alzheimer’s disease often have difficulty following or joining a conversation and might have trouble finding the right words or being able to continue a thought or a sentence. Other signs include:
- Using the wrong names
- Repeating themselves consistently
- Have trouble naming familiar objects (calling a watch a “hand clock”)
7. Misplacing Things and Inability to Retrace Steps
While it is normal to misplace objects every so often, a person living with Alzheimer’s disease might begin to lose things on a regular basis to a point where it disrupts everyday life. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Putting things in unusual places (i.e., putting car keys in the refrigerator)
- Being unable to retrace steps
- Accusing others of stealing when they do not know where something is
8. Poor Judgment
If your loved one has been showing signs of decreased judgment, it can be a definite cause for concern. For instance:
- Paying less attention to grooming or cleanliness
- Making bad decisions with spending money
- Wearing clothing that obviously does not suit the occasion (i.e., wearing a coat on a hot summer day)
9. Withdrawal from Social Activities or Hobbies
Because it could become difficult to participate in conversations, you may notice your loved one starting to withdraw from social events, hobbies, or other activities that they enjoy.
10. Changes in Mood and Personality
Mood and personality changes are two of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This is why it is so important to ensure that your loved one feels comfortable and is able to express themselves. They might:
- Become easily upset or frustrated
- Experience feelings of anxiety or fear
- Get confused if things occur outside of their normal routines
If you notice one or more of these signs in your loved one, it can be a challenge to know exactly how to proceed. Voicing these concerns to your loved one or to other relatives can be scary, but it is important to act so your loved one can get a proper diagnosis and find the right care.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, our Refreshing Waters® memory care program in San Antonio provides person-centered care with meaningful engagement opportunities to provide your loved one with the best quality of life possible. We believe in providing an inviting, enjoyable, and comfortable atmosphere for residents through well-refined, compassionate care that helps delay the progression of dementia.
Discover memory care in San Antonio by visiting our website or contacting a member of our team.