Top 11 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and CommuniCare employee Krishel Connelly, MA, CCC-SLP discusses the top 11 signs that may indicate onset of Alzheimer’s or worsening dementia/Alzheimer’s.

  1. Memory loss: Difficulty remembering events or information, important dates, and newly learned information.
  2. Disorientation to time and place: Getting lost in a normally familiar place or forgetting the day of week/time.
  3. Misplacing things: Finding missing items in unusual places, such as finding keys in the kitty litter box.
  4. Changes in personality: Becoming confused, fearful, overly suspicious, self-absorbed, or dependent.
  5. Difficulty performing common tasks: Everyday activities such as taking medications and doing household chores become more difficult.
  6. Poor/decreased judgment: Buying unnecessary items, giving away money, making bad decisions that are inconsistent with past decisions. May also pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
  7. Changes in mood or behavior: Can vary from being depressed, withdrawn, irritable, easily upset, or angry. May be more noticeable when out of their comfort zone.
  8. Loss of initiative: Loss of interest in normal activities. May withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagement.
  9. Problems with abstract thinking: Increased difficulty with complex mental tasks such as organizing, planning, and budgeting. May also have increased difficulty with how to safely use familiar items, following recipes, or organizing a grocery list.
  10. Difficulty understanding visual images and spatial relationships: This may lead to difficulty in balance, judging distances, trouble reading, and determining color or contrast, which can cause safety concerns with driving.
  11. New problems with language (speaking or writing): May have trouble following a conversation, struggle with vocabulary or naming familiar items/objects, or call an object or person by the wrong name

If you notice any of these symptoms happening to a loved one, be sure to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor right away for further assessment.