Alzheimer's is a progressive neurological disorder that can greatly impact a person's memory, thinking, and behaviour. Early detection is crucial as it allows individuals and their families to plan for the future, seek appropriate medical care, and implement strategies to enhance the quality of life. In this blog, we will explore the key warning signs of Alzheimer's, empowering you to identify these signs in your family and seek timely support.
1. Memory loss disrupting daily life
One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss. Pay attention to significant memory lapses that interfere with daily activities, such as forgetting important dates, repeating questions, or relying heavily on memory aids.
2. Challenges in problem-solving or planning
Individuals experiencing cognitive decline may find it increasingly difficult to follow instructions, manage finances, or make decisions. Notice if your family member struggles with familiar tasks they used to handle with ease.
3. Confusion about time or place
Getting disoriented in familiar surroundings or losing track of time are red flags for Alzheimer's. Keep an eye on instances where individuals seem lost or unsure about their current location or the day and time.
4. Difficulty with visual images or spatial relationships
Struggling to read, judge distances, or recognize colours can be indicative of cognitive impairment. Be aware of any changes in visual abilities.
5. Problems with language and communication
A noticeable decline in language skills may manifest as difficulty finding words, following conversations, or expressing themselves coherently. Watch for any unusual speech patterns or confusion during conversations.
6. Withdrawal from social activities
A decline in social engagement could be a warning sign of Alzheimer's. Individuals may become increasingly withdrawn, lose interest in hobbies, or avoid social gatherings they once enjoyed.
7. Poor judgement and decision-making
Impaired judgement can lead individuals to make uncharacteristic choices, such as falling for scams, neglecting personal hygiene, or exhibiting poor financial decisions.
8. Mood and personality changes
Pay attention to sudden shifts in mood or personality. Alzheimer's may cause individuals to become confused, anxious, suspicious, or easily upset.
9. Misplacing items and unable to retrace steps
Putting items in unusual places and being unable to retrace steps to find them is a common sign of cognitive decline. Take note if your family member frequently loses things or accuses others of stealing their belongings.
10. Decline in critical thinking
Trouble in critical thinking and reasoning can surface as difficulty in problem-solving or following logical sequences. This may impact daily activities and decision-making.
Recognising the early warning signs of Alzheimer's is crucial for timely diagnosis and intervention. If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms in your family members, don't hesitate to seek professional medical advice. Early detection allows for better management of the condition, access to available treatments, and the opportunity to plan for the future. At CareCall, we understand the challenges of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's and have a range of products to help people remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.