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.
- Memory loss: Difficulty remembering events or information, important dates, and newly learned information.
- Disorientation to time and place: Getting lost in a normally familiar place or forgetting the day of week/time.
- Misplacing things: Finding missing items in unusual places, such as finding keys in the kitty litter box.
- Changes in personality: Becoming confused, fearful, overly suspicious, self-absorbed, or dependent.
- Difficulty performing common tasks: Everyday activities such as taking medications and doing household chores become more difficult.
- 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.
- Changes in mood or behavior: Can vary from being depressed, withdrawn, irritable, easily upset, or angry.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.
- Loss of initiative: Loss of interest in normal activities. May withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagement.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.