Alzheimer’s is a very common disease affecting more than three million people in the US each year–most of them 60 or older. While there is currently no cure, there are numerous treatments available to manage the illness. If the person is diagnosed early, they may be able to utilize more treatment options, allowing them to maintain their independence for as long as possible. There are many warnings, signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia but a few stand out as being very common.
While a certain level of memory decline is to be expected with aging, the difficulties associated with Alzheimer’s are much more pronounced. Typically Alzheimer’s will affect the short-term memory while older long-term memories can still be recalled. An example of this can be someone constantly asking the same questions even after they have been answered or not remembering something that happened moments ago. Forgetting a name or a date occasionally is nothing to be alarmed over but if it is a common occurence, it may be worth examining.
Along with short-term memory, those developing dementia will forget the names of objects as well as have difficulty with basic communication skills. It is common for the person to have trouble expressing their ideas or getting out the right words. Getting lost in the middle of a thought or repeating the same phrases multiple times are some other examples. They may also have trouble following along and participating in conversation.
A big indicator for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are changes in mood and personality. Oftentimes the person will become upset more easily and stay upset as a general demeanor. Depression is usually related to dementia as well. An important sign to be aware of is the person’s personality changing noticeably. A shy person becoming more outgoing or vice-versa are two common examples of these changes.
Stemming from the impaired mental strength and memory loss is a general sense of confusion. This can also lead to the frustration and depression the person experiences. For instance, a person may lose their sense of direction and begin to have an impaired sense of judgment. They may also have trouble recognizing where they are and what is happening at the present time.
All of these symptoms go hand-in-hand with one another and influence other warning signs and mental changes for dementia. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be experiencing some of these warning signs, please don’t hesitate to speak to a doctor. Ignoring the problems won’t help them to get better but seeking treatment will help prolong the quality of life.