By Dr. Chris Votolato, Director of Behavioral Health at Shell Point Retirement
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 warning signs — along with the advice of a doctor — that are critical to detecting Alzheimer’s.If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, please consult a physician.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life. People with Alzheimer’s may forget important dates or repeatedly ask the same question.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems. Managing bills or following a familiar recipe becomes difficult. Regular tasks take much longer than before.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure. Daily tasks are hard to complete – such as driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
- Confusion with time or place. People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passing of time. Sometimes they forget where they are or how they got there.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast become difficult. A reflection in the mirror may appear as another person in the room.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing. Participating in a conversation poses a problem. Vocabulary is a struggle when searching for the right word.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps;
- Decreased or poor judgment. Some people experience changes in decision-making abilities and use poor judgment when dealing with money, hygiene, etc.
- Withdrawal from social situations or favorite hobbies.
- Changes in mood or personality. Some people begin to experience confusion, suspicion, depression, fear, and anxiety.