10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Forgetting your keys or “blanking” on an acquaintance’s name is generally not a cause for concern – these lapses happen from time to time, to people at all ages. Even forgetting some details about past events is a normal part of aging.
Dementia, however, is not a normal part of aging. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the form of dementia known as Alzheimer’s Disease is “a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills.” Over 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease, and the disease affects millions more who are caregivers, family, and friends. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that about 1 in 9 people age 65 and older (or 10.7% of the population) has Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association describes 10 signs, which could be early signals of Alzheimer’s, that you shouldn’t ignore. (Source: Act.Alz.org)
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
You’re Noticing One of These Signs – What Now?
If you notice one or more of these signs in yourself or a friend or family member, don’t brush it off. It may be difficult to broach the topic, but talking about these concerns is key. The most important thing to do is to talk to your doctor. Your physician can evaluate you and recommend next steps. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, early diagnosis and treatment can mean staying independent longer.
McLean offers three support groups for those affected by dementia. Our GAP group is for people with dementia; our Community Café is for people with dementia and their caregivers; and we have a support group just for caregivers. McLean also offers an Adult Day Program for those with dementia, and offers Assisted Living Memory Care on our Simsbury campus. For inquiries, please email Margaret.Clark@McLeanCare.org.