It is often difficult to accept that our loved one is experiencing the onset of dementia, or exhibiting warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Being mindful of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s is important, though: The earlier we recognize the risk factors in our family members—whether spouses or aging parents—the more readily we can seek prompt intervention.
Here are just a few warning signs to watch out for—some symptoms that should definitely ring alarm bells, and perhaps encourage you to take your loved one in for an examination.
Disruptive memory loss: It is natural for those who are getting older to have trouble remembering names or maybe even forgetting appointments, but it is not so natural to have to ask for reminders for the same things repeatedly, or to routinely miss appointments or key days.
Challenges with simple cognitive tasks: Another key sign of Alzheimer’s is difficulty balancing a checkbook, following a recipe—any other everyday task that requires some limited critical thinking abilities.
Challenges with familiar tasks: Similarly, it is certainly a warning sign when your loved one forgets the directions to a familiar place, or cannot remember the rules to a favorite game.
Trouble following basic storylines: It is also typical of Alzheimer’s patients to have a hard time following the plot of a basic story—whether it is a movie, a favorite TV show, or a story you are narrating yourself.
Withdrawal from social activities: Those who have Alzheimer’s quite often withdraw from the relationships and hobbies that once brought them pleasure; social isolation can be a key sign of Alzheimer’s, or even something as simple as losing interest in a favorite sports team.
If your loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms or behaviors, urge them to ask their primary physician or neurologist about possible Alzheimer’s.
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