|Normal Aging||Signs of Alzheimer’s / Dementia|
|Losing things from time to time||Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them, and sometimes accusing others of taking the items|
|Sometimes forgetting what word to use||Difficulty having a conversation|
|Forgetting what day it in and remembering later||Losing track of the date or season|
|Missing a monthly payment||Inability to manage checkbook|
|Making a bad decision once in a while||Poor judgment and decision making|
Warning Signs that Care is needed
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. It is true that after age 75 people are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, but it is not an absolute. If you have concerns about a parent or spouse’s memory or behaviors, consider the above symptoms. In addition to the above warning signs, the Alzheimer’s Association identifies several other symptoms to be aware of with your aging loved one.
- Your loved one’s memory is so impaired that they call you several times a day to ask about the same event or appointment.
- You find that your loved one is no longer doing laundry, even though there is nothing wrong with the washer or dryer – he or she may not remember how to do the washing.
- You start to receive calls in the middle of the night or notice that your loved one seems to confuse nighttime and daytime.
- Isolating themselves by no longer participating in social activities they once enjoyed can be a symptom. Often they realize there is something wrong before we do and they stop socializing for fear of embarrassing themselves.
- Mood swings, fear and paranoia are early signs of Alzheimer’s, especially if that is not how your loved one normally behaves.
This information comes from the Alzheimer’s Association brochure – “Know the 10 Signs, Early Detection Matters.” You can find this brochure and other information about Alzheimer’s disease at www.alz.org
If you are concerned about a parent or spouse’s changing behavior or mood, the first step is to contact their primary physician. There are some illnesses that have similar symptoms as early stage Alzheimer’s, but are reversible or can be treated with medications. If the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is made, the next step is to begin looking long term at your loved ones living situation, financial situation and physical health. For more information on resources for early-stage Alzheimer’s or assistance to develop the long term plan, contact one of our Aging Life Care Managers for a consultation.