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Alzheimer’s Awareness: 10 Signs to Watch For

At Door to Door Solutions, one late-in-life moving situation we often see is when a person has dementia and must be moved to a memory care community. This can be a wrenching decision for families to make, but people with later stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s need specialized treatment they cannot get at home.

This can make moving all the more stressful because it’s done in a hurry, under duress. In such situations, we’re here to help with everything from the planning to disposal of unwanted items.

Unfortunately, dementia and Alzheimer’s are often diagnosed in the later stages, when it becomes apparent that the person needs assistance. The Alzheimer’s Association offers these 10 signs to watch for.

Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, but if several symptoms appear, be sure to encourage a discussion with a physician:

1. Memory loss.
It’s normal to temporarily forget names or appointments, but the most common sign of Alzheimer’s is forgetting recently learned information, or asking for the same information over and over.

2. Trouble solving problems.
Difficulty following a recipe, keeping track of monthly bills and the like indicate a change in the person’s ability to follow a plan or work with numbers.

3. Completing familiar tasks is a challenge.
Alzheimer’s can make it tough to complete daily tasks, such as driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules to a favorite game.

4. Confusion with time or place.
It’s OK to get momentarily confused about the day of the week (and figuring out the error), but losing track of dates, seasons or the passage of time—or forgetting where they are—is a key signal.

5. Changes in vision.
Vision changes as we age, but difficulty reading, judging distance and determining colors is a sign of impairment.

6. Frustration with speaking or writing.
We all forget the right word on occasion, but people with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following a conversation, and may struggle with vocabulary.

7. Losing things.
Over time, people with Alzheimer’s may lose more and more objects, or put things in unusual places. They may accuse others of stealing.

8. Decreased judgment or decision-making.
This is especially true where money is concerned. People with Alzheimer’s may give large amounts of money to telemarketers, or may pay less attention to personal grooming.

9. Social withdrawal.
A person with Alzheimer’s may remove themselves from hobbies or social activities.

10. Changes in mood.
Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, anxious or easily upset may be a sign of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

If you know someone exhibiting some of these signs, encourage them to talk with their physician. The earlier Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, the more time you as a caregiver will have to prepare and plan ahead.


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