Can You Spot Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Most of us occasionally forget to do or complete something we set out to do. We hear the term “senior moment”. How can we tell the difference between a normal forgetfulness and signs of Alzheimer’s?
The Alzheimer’s Association has a list of 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s that may help family members and patients plan ahead and probably slow down the process of the disease.
Here are the 10 warning signs:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life – You told your mom to bring the family’s favorite dish to a gathering happening this Saturday at noon. Mom kept calling you during the week and asked over and over again what dish you wanted and the time and place of the occasion. You asked her to write it down and place it on the fridge door. On that day, mom did not show up or maybe mom came but forgets the dish.
Or mom came and forgot your best friend’s name.
Challenges in planning or solving problems– The telephone rang and dad said he has been getting calls from the electrical company asking for payments. You checked and found out he has not been paying bills for over 4 months. That is very unlikely of him since he was never late on payment all his life. You go through his bills and find out he has been overpaying some of the bills. This is not an occasional error. There is a trend for about four months now and his checkbooks did not add up like normal.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure– Mom called and said she got lost on her way to your home. She took that route for years and she has been calling you with the same problem for the last month. Just yesterday, she called and said her washing machine did not work again. You tried it last week and it worked fine. Mom is having difficulty doing her household chores and seems to have trouble with directions.
Confusion with time or place-It is raining and you found mom gardening in her yard. Two days ago she was walking in the rain and her neighbor called you and reported that mom has been taking her evening walks as usual without any care about the rain. She normally stays home if it rains out. She went to church last Saturday thinking it was Sunday morning.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships-shortly after you left dad’s home, he called and said he saw your blue car parked in his driveway and where are you? His car, which is the same model and made but different color is parked in his driveway- not yours. He is beginning to have problems recognizing colors and fell a week ago when he missed a step in his basement.
New problems with words in writing and speaking– Mom has been repeating herself and telling the same story over and over again over the telephone each time she calls. Last week she called you Shirley instead of Sally several times. She seems to have trouble-writing things down.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – Dad lost his reading glasses again. His keys were missing last week while at lunch with some friends at the local diner.
Decreased or poor judgment – Your dad’s favorite charity just called and thanked him for the $10,000 contribution he gave recently. You were visiting when they called. You went through his checkbook and found out he has been giving large amounts of contribution to various charities, some he had never supported.
Withdrawn from work and social activities – You saw mom’s reading group leader at the grocery store and she asked if mom was visiting your sister. She has not been attending the weekly reading group for the past month. They left her messages on her answer machine and sent her a note. Mom did not respond.
Mood and personality changes – Your dad called and said mom has been waking up at night crying and fearing the lost of her home. As far as you know, the home is paid and there are no financial problems. Mom seems a little depressed and confused when you talk to her about her nightly struggles.
These are 10 warning signs given by the Alzheimer’s Association. What are we to do about it? Do you notice any of these warning signs with your loved ones? Early detection could be a way to help slow the process.
Recently, Fox News reported that U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the radioactive dye called Amyvid. This dye will help doctors while testing patients to rule out whether patients have Alzheimer’s through a PET scan.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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