Over 30 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease and it is still growing. Not sure if you or your loved one may be suffering from this? Use this list to help to distinguish between the expected memory deficits that accompany aging and early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Don’t hesitate to talk with your physician if you or a family member is displaying any of these symptoms. Early detection can slow the rate of progression and in some cases, possibly stop it in its track!
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This common sign of Alzheimer’s includes forgetting important dates, events and recently learned information, as well as repeatedly asking for the same information and relying on others for completion of previously routine tasks. Alternatively, know that some short-term memory concerns, such as where you put the keys, is less likely to be Alzheimer’s related.
- Planning and problem-solving challenges. Common examples are taking a long time to complete familiar, simple tasks such as developing a plan, working with numbers, following directions (such as a recipe) or keeping track of monthly bills.
- Familiar tasks become unfamiliar. It may be difficult to complete daily, routine tasks such as driving to a familiar location, reciting much-used phone numbers, or remembering the rules of favorite games.
- Confusion about time or place. Losing track of dates, where you are or how you got there, and the general passage of time without recognition is a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Trouble understanding visual images, difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color or contrast, and confusion as to what is reflected in a mirror may affect some people with Alzheimer’s.