What is Alzheimer’s disease and how do we spot it?
Dementia is a term used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia.
Alzheimer’s puts people at risk of behavioural disorders and often leads to people acting out character, which can be distressing not only to the person but to family and loved ones.
It can be difficult to spot Alzheimer’s and the following 10 signs are here to help distinguish between signs of Alzheimer’s and normal behaviour associated with growing older.
1. Changes in personality and mood
Can become easily upset when out of their comfort zone and previous normal situations can cause anxiety or fear.
Normal age-related change: Being irritated when routine is disrupted, or things are not being done the normal way.
2. Completing familiar tasks becomes difficult
May struggle remembering the rules of a familiar game, driving to a familiar place or cooking a certain meal.
Normal age-related change: Needing help with certain tasks that are not very familiar or using new technologies
3. Decrease in the ability to make Decisions
Struggling with judgement and decision making
Normal age-related change: Making the odd bad decision
4. Memory Loss
A very common sign is increased memory loss, especially with recently learnt information
Normal age-related change: occasionally forgetting people’s names or appointments but then remembering them later.
5. Losing things or forgetting how to get home
May accuse people of stealing things after placing them in an unusual place and may struggle to get home or forget where they are
Normal age-related change: Sometimes losing things but then looking for them in obvious places
6. Confusion with time or place
Time keeping and understanding what date or season it is becomes difficult
Normal age-related change: Confusing the day of the week but figuring it out later and understanding the mistake
7. Pulling back from social interaction
People with dementia may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or leisure activities that they once enjoyed.
Normal age-related change: Occasionally not feeling up to certain things or consciously reducing the amount of activities due to tiredness.
8. Trouble with writing or speaking
Find it difficult to follow or join conversations
Normal age-related change: Occasionally struggling to find the right word
9. struggling to recognise people or images
May not recognise familiar faces or places
Normal age-related change: Deterioration of eyesight and vision
10. Solving problems becomes a real challenge
May have real trouble following a plan or working with numbers Normal age-related change: Making occasional errors with numbers
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