9 Common Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
Knowing the early signs of Alzheimer’s is the key to getting your loved ones the individualized care they need. Below are nine common symptoms that someone with Alzheimer’s may exhibit.
1. Memory Loss
Along with repeating the same question multiple times in a conversation, it’s also common for those with Alzheimer’s to forget simple details like:
- Important dates
- Names of familiar people
- Details from recent conversations
2. Trouble Speaking or Writing
Your loved one may trail off mid-sentence or struggle to find certain words while speaking. Diminishing hand-eye coordination can also lead to difficulty in writing.
3. Familiar Activities Become Challenging
Completing everyday tasks—such as cleaning dishes or choosing an outfit—may become difficult for your loved one.
4. Odd Judgment or Decision Making
It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s to make unusual or reckless decisions, especially for those in the early stages of the disease.
5. Misplacing or Losing Things Frequently
The frequent misplacement or loss of everyday items is a telltale sign that your loved one may have Alzheimer’s. Your loved one also may place belongings in odd locations.
6. Change in Social Behavior
Uncharacteristic social retreat by people who once enjoyed participating in social activities—such as calling relatives or meeting friends for coffee—is a common sign of Alzheimer’s.
7. Changes in Appearance
Alzheimer’s can cause impaired decision-making such as random changes in one’s physical appearance. This can include things like dressing differently, not matching socks, or failing to attend to personal hygiene.
8. Changes in Personality or Mood
Alzheimer’s can also cause intense and/or frequent changes in personality or mood, such as increased anger or suspicion.
9. Anxiety or Depression
The eight early signs of Alzheimer’s discussed above can lead to anxiety and depression. When loved ones can’t remember things like how to perform simple tasks or engage in conversations with people familiar to them, they may also suffer from mental and emotional distress.
How To Respond if a Loved One Starts Showing Alzheimer’s Early Symptoms
If a loved one starts showing any of the Alzheimer’s early symptoms discussed above, here are some practical ways you can respond to help them navigate the disease.
Having a basic understanding of the disease is the first step to helping your loved one feel cared for. After you learn the basics, understand the impact of the symptoms associated with this disease.
Visit a Medical Professional
Taking your loved one to see a specialist early on can help keep some of their symptoms under control and slow the progression of the disease, or at least help you know how to respond to them in the future.
Even when things get tough, your loved one will need your full support as they navigate the disease.
Encourage Stimulating Activities
Encouraging your loved one to partake in stimulating activities can help with cognitive function.
Implement Safety Precautions
Take necessary measures to keep you and your loved one safe.
Terra Vista Dementia Care Services
If caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s has become too much to bear alone, Terra Vista is here to help. The memory care experts in our award-winning memory care community offer customized care and enriching activities to help your loved one live life to the fullest in a safe environment. When you need someone you can trust with the care of your loved one who has dementia, come to Terra Vista—where your family becomes our family.