Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological disorder that results in issues with memory and thinking. As the disease progresses, people usually lose their ability to care for themselves in their own homes. There are more than 5 million1 people living with Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia. But what are early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s and how can catching it early help?
Keeping an eye out for symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and receiving an early diagnosis is critical for delaying more severe symptoms and how quickly the disease progresses.
What Are the Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?
While there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that a person can make to delay symptoms and improve their quality of life. Knowing what symptoms to look for can help with an early diagnosis.
What are some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s? Let’s look at the five signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s that may indicate you should talk to your doctor.
1. Forgetting Things
We all have our days when we can’t remember things like where we put our car keys or glasses. While forgetting things is a normal part of aging as people grow older, not remembering things on a regular basis or repeating something over and over2 can be one of the first warning signs of dementia. Some beginning symptoms of Alzheimer’s may include:
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Inability to remember dates and places
- Repeatedly asking the same questions
- Lose track of or misplaces items
- Memory problems that disrupt daily life
Relying on the help of family members and others because of this forgetfulness may indicate a more significant issue than just being absent-minded for a day or two.
Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of dementia? We can help. Contact our caring professionals for more information.
2. Withdrawing From Social Interaction
When a person has Alzheimer’s Disease early on, they may find social interaction with others becomes more and more of a struggle. They may:
- Have difficulty keeping up with a conversation
- Forget what’s already been said
- Forget what they wanted to ask a person
- Become confused by who they’re talking to
- Not respond when spoken to
- Give up some of the hobbies that they used to love
People with Alzheimer’s Disease will often withdraw from interaction because certain activities become too confusing or overwhelming to deal with.
3. Changes in Personality, Mood, or Attitude
Alzheimer’s frequently results in mood swings and personality changes due to neuron loss in certain areas of the brain. Their attitude may seem completely different than it used to be. You may find that your loved one suddenly seems more:
These changes in mood will alter their behavior and how they react to certain situations. It’s important to remember that it’s not the person’s fault that they are acting that way. There are changes going on in the brain that are affecting behavior.
Catching the early stages of dementia is crucial to getting the necessary help. Contact Haven Health today to learn more.
4. Verbal Changes
People with Alzheimer’s Disease may experience changes in their brain function that make it difficult for them to speak properly, which may include:
- Forgetting what they wanted to say
- Increased difficulty formulating words
- Forgetting what someone said to them, making it difficult to respond
- New problems with speaking or writing
If a person with Alzheimer’s Disease writes something down on paper, their spelling, handwriting, grammar, or punctuation may be affected. The change will progressively get worse as the disease continues. Correcting may only agitate them, so be careful how you react.
5. Problem Solving Challenges
Over the course of a day, many problems need to be solved. From balancing a checkbook to following a recipe, it’s essential that the brain can work through these tasks. Alzheimer’s makes it difficult to solve these daily problems. The challenges may be present to the extent that a person with Alzheimer’s Disease may avoid taking them on altogether.
How to Test for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
If you notice these changes in your own behavior or the behavior of a loved one, it’s important to speak with a trusted medical professional. There are tests and assessments doctors can do to rule out or confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Once the issue has been diagnosed, treatment plans focus on two areas:
- How to improve the quality of life. Meeting a person’s needs, delaying disease progression, and keeping them as independent and happy as possible are important as the disease progresses.
- Safety. Safety is also an important priority for someone experiencing dementia symptoms. As the disease progresses, forgetting to turn off the stove or wandering away from home are safety concerns to consider.
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of dementia, it’s essential to see a doctor and get essential assistance. The caring staff at Haven Health are here to help manage all stages of dementia and get you the support you need. Contact us today.
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (26 October 2020). Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
2Alzheimer’s Association. Repetition. alz.org. Retrieved 13 April 2022.