By Ron Burg
As we age, there are certain things we can expect to change. Our memory isn’t as good, we usually take longer to make decisions, and we might need help doing tasks that were once simple. However, when a loved one – whether a parent, grandparent, spouse or sibling – begins to show signs of aging, it’s scary.
An even more frightening thought is determining whether he or she may need more medical and living assistance. This could mean moving to a smaller, more manageable household, professional home care services, or even moving in with a relative. You want to provide the best care possible for your loved one, while still respecting their independence and wishes. Your decision will likely be based off the mental and physical condition of your elderly loved one.
But, how do you know your mom’s sudden forgetful nature is a normal sign of aging or something worse? When it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s, early detection can provide the best treatment and care.
Here are the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease:
· Memory changes
This is often the most obvious and common change associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetting the occasional appointment or name is a usual sign of aging, and the elderly person can usually remember them later.
Memory loss that can signify something worse consists of forgetting new information, important dates and events, asking the same thing or needing to hear the same information over and over, and an increased dependency on reminders. If the memory loss disrupts a person’s daily life, you should probably head to the doctor.
· Withdrawal from usual activities
A person who suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer’s will avoid social activity and may stop all social interaction, hobbies, and sports due to their changes. You may also notice they become passive – watching TV for long hours, sleeping more, or avoiding daily tasks. What is normal, however, is an elderly person sometimes feeling weary of social obligations.
· Problems with writing and speaking
An early indicator is a sudden inability to follow or join a conversation. A person might stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or repeat himself or herself often. They may also struggle with vocabulary and have trouble finding the right word for an object.
· Disorientation with time and place
While it is typical for a senior citizen to forget what day it is or where they were going, it is not an aging-related sign when a person becomes lost in a familiar area, doesn’t know how to get back home, or cannot recall how they got to their current location.
· Changes in mood and personality
Everyone experiences mood swings, but, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a person will often rapidly switch moods for no apparent reason.
· Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Some people will experience trouble reading, judging distance, and determining color and contrast. They will likely show signs of having difficulty while driving.
If you are concerned about a loved one or have suspicions they may have Alzheimer’s, seek a medical opinion. Remember, you are not alone, and it is best to receive an early diagnosis.
About Already HomeCare
Already HomeCare was founded with the ideal that we would never place a caregiver in someone’s home that we wouldn’t place in our own family member’s home. We operate in a culture of compassion, and are committed to helping your loved one live a healthy and independent life. Providing senior home care is a highly personalized, intimate experience. We go above and beyond to help reduce the stress and ensure your loved one is getting the quality care they deserve.