Early Signs of Alzheimer's/Dementia

When is memory loss more than just normal old age forgetfulness?

Alzheimer's/dementia symptoms vary, and the differences between those and typical age-related cognitive changes may be subtle, especially early on.

In recognition of World Alzheimer's Month, we wanted to share some early signs and symptoms that you can look out for in your loved ones. According to the Alzheimer's Association, if you notice any of these, don't ignore them- early detection is key. Talk to your loved one's Primary Care Physician (i.e. Geriatrician) as the first step.

1. Memory loss
Example: Repeating simple questions like "What is today's date?"

2. Challenges in problem solving or planning
Example: Difficulty handling money and paying bills

3. Daily tasks are difficult
Example: Leaving the stove on

4. Disorientation in time or place
Example: Reverting back to childhood or native language

5. Visual-spatial difficulties
Example: Difficulty driving or reading

6. New language problems
Example: Trouble putting thoughts into words or understanding others

7. Misplacing things
Example: Losing things in odd places and/or accusing someone of stealing

8. Poor judgement
Example: Giving large amounts of money to telemarketers

9. Withdrawal from usual activities
Example: Not wanting to leave the house

10. Changes in personality and mood
Example: Often being confused, anxious, fearful, angry, or suspicious

When a family receives an Alzheimer's/dementia diagnosis, they can be scared and not know where to begin. Our Care Coordinators have shared some guidance and tips for caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's. Check them out!

If you are one of the 16 million Americans caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's/dementia (or if you're involved in the care of a loved one with other chronic or complex care needs), we can help. Get started with a Wellthy Care Coordinator at wellthy.com.

Source: Alzheimer's Association. 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.