Alzheimer’s can be a scary word—in fact; it’s one of the most frightening diagnosis you can get for a loved one. However, it’s a little less scary when you’re informed and prepared. Best of all, when you catch it early, there are many treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve the overall quality of life. The key is that the disease needs to be caught as early as possible. To do this, it is important to monitor your older relatives (and even yourself) vigilantly, to make sure you observe any potential changes and catch the disease as quickly as possible. Here are six potential warning signs you should look for—and contact a doctor if you notice.
- Memory loss (disrupting daily life) – Everyone forgets things from time to time; there is nothing abnormal there. However, memory loss that disrupts everyday life is something that is concerning. Does your mom or dad forget who you are or fail to remember things that you know that he or she should have no problem recalling? It may be that these are just signs of mental decline, or it could be that these are early signs of Alzheimer’s. It is worth having the memory loss looked into by the family doctor.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks – An everyday task, such as doing dishes, walking the dog or completing a much-loved hobby should be second nature to an older adult. If your parent struggles with a task that used to be simple, it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
- Confusion about place or time – Another worrisome sign is confusion about the current place or time. This confusion can be very scary for you, as well as your loved one. After all, not knowing where you are, or what year it is leads to a person feeling very out of place and can lead to further poor decisions.
- Poor judgment (out of character) – One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s that many people see in their parents is poor decision-making skills. When an older adult is suddenly giving money to an untrustworthy person or making unwise purchases, it might be time to step in and protect this individual from his or herself. Poor judgment can lead to dangerous situations in the future.
- Withdrawal from work or social life – When a person has trouble recalling facts or moving as fast as he or she once did, it is only natural that the individual might withdraw from activities that they once loved. This withdrawal can make it harder to notice the actual changes since your mom or dad won’t be engaging in as many challenging activities. If you see mom or dad begin to spend more time alone or not doing the things they once loved, it is worth investigating to find out why.
- Severe changes in mood or personality – Although it doesn’t always occur this way, some people who are facing memory loss or other changes will respond with anger or depression. If you have noticed changes in the mood or personality of an older loved one, it could be that they are trying to cover up more serious problems. Talking with a doctor, or a psychologist, to find out the root of the problem, is often the best solution.
If you are worried about a loved one, you don’t have to face Alzheimer’s alone. Your doctor is always a great resource. However, sometimes you need a higher level of care—even full-time care. If you are considering assisted living or memory care for your mom or dad, why not reach out to us at CareChoice? We would love to discuss the different options with you and show you that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t have to be quite as scary as you might think. Call us at (404) 402-1499 or visit our website at ourcarechoice.com to discover more. We look forward to learning more about you and your family.