9 Signs Your Loved One May Have Alzheimer's
We’ve all had it happen to us. We’ve misplaced our car keys or momentarily forgotten someone’s name and suddenly had an unwanted thought creep into our head: Are those Alzheimer’s symptoms? The reality is, we all lead busy lives and forgetting things is a normal function of an overtaxed brain. But what are the real signs of Alzheimer’s? Being able to recognize them can help you get your loved one the treatment they need to live a comfortable life. If a family member is showing any of these nine warning signs of Alzheimer’s, it may be time to consult a doctor.
1. Trouble Remembering Things
The warning sign most people associate with Alzheimer’s is losing one’s memory. It starts with short-term memories, like losing the car keys or forgetting an appointment, but as the disease progresses, long-term memories will start to become lost too.
2. Changes in Mood and Personality
If your loved one hasn’t been acting like themselves lately, take note of their new behaviors. Mood and personality changes such as becoming easily upset, suspicious, depressed or anxious may be indicators of Alzheimer’s. In addition, people who are usually social can become withdrawn, and may experience changes in appetite or lose interest in a favorite hobby.
3. Breaking the Law
Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that discerns right from wrong, and stealing or other activities that break the law can be a warning sign. Your loved one may have developed “sticky fingers” — but may not recognize that what they’re doing is wrong.
4. Trouble Completing Routine Tasks
If you notice that your parent can’t remember where to put dirty dishes, how to use the oven or gets lost driving to a familiar place, they might be experiencing the beginning of Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
5. Difficulty With Language
Another warning sign of Alzheimer’s is not knowing how to express oneself through language.
If a parent is having trouble finding the right words, or if they describe what something does instead of naming the item, it may be time to consult their doctor.
6. Poor Judgment
Making poor decisions about money or other matters can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Giving large amounts of money to a questionable charity, driving recklessly or demonstrating other uncharacteristically bad decisions can signal the onset of dementia.
7. Unusual Behavior
Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently, so if a loved one is showing signs of other behaviors that are unusual for them — such as hiding things, using foul language or wandering — it may be time to schedule an appointment with their doctor.
8. Changes in Grooming And Personal Hygiene
If your loved one kept their home immaculate all their life, but suddenly stops cleaning, that could be cause for concern. Any declining attention to personal care, such as infrequent bathing, wearing the same clothes day after day, or not their brushing teeth, are common indicators of dementia.
9. Withdrawing From Friends and Family
If your loved one stops going to social events and engaging in activities they once enjoyed, that can be a red flag. Depression related to their memory lapses and difficulty communicating can also cause withdrawal from social situations.
If you’re wondering how to help someone with Alzheimer’s, Life Care Services provides professional services in safe living environments for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We also offer resources on our site to help you learn more about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, including tips on how to talk with someone who has dementia. To learn more or to request a tour, use our search tool to find a Life Care Services® community in your area.