As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States alone, Alzheimer’s Disease impacts approximately 20 percent of the population over the age of 65 plus their loved ones and families. When diagnosed in the earliest stages, medications and treatments can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Knowing the warning signs of Alzheimer’s can help with early diagnosis and treatment of this common chronic brain disease.
Early Warning Signs
Let’s explore the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Memory Loss – Age-related memory loss, like forgetting an appointment and remembering it later, is normal. With the early onset of Alzheimer’s, forgetting appointments, annual events (birthdays, anniversaries) becomes more and more frequent to the point it disrupts daily life.
- Confusion – Confusion caused by Alzheimer’s may regard time or place. It can manifest in losing track of dates, times, months, or seasons. It can also be the reason those with Alzheimer’s find themselves in locations and don’t know why or how they got there.
- Struggles with Common Basic Tasks and Problem-Solving – For those with Alzheimer’s common tasks which were once simple become challenging. It could manifest in avoidance of formerly enjoyable activities, getting lost on the way to the grocery store or pharmacy, or not remembering how to play a favorite game. Another manifestation comes in the difficulty solve problems where there was formerly no problem, like the inability to handle monthly bills or cook your favorite recipe.
- Communication Challenges – Those with Alzheimer’s Disease often find joining or carrying on conversations challenging, though they can manage greetings well. In addition, they may repeat themselves frequently, struggle to find the words to communicate effectively, or simply stop talking in the middle of a conversation.
- Consistently Losing Their Belongings – The warning sign of losing belongings can manifest in a number of ways. For some individuals, they put their belongings in unusual places and are unable to find them. They may put items in the wrong place simply because they don’t remember where they go. In other scenarios, Alzheimer’s causes paranoia, making those with the disease hide their belongings because they believe others are stealing from them.
- Vision Difficulties – Decreased vision, reading challenges, inability to determine color and judge distances are a common side effect of Alzheimer’s Disease. It can affect daily life and make driving dangerous.
- Changes in Judgment – People with Alzheimer’s often display changes in judgement. This warning sign is often seen as a decline or loss of judgment, making irrational decisions, spending money that isn’t available, or even ceasing to perform the daily needed hygiene.
- Isolation – Those with Alzheimer’s causes people to isolate, withdrawing from favored hobbies, work projects, social events, and other activities they previously enjoyed. Because they notice the changes, whether it be the ability to maintain conversations, the failure to play games successfully, or the inability to carry projects to completion, they remove themselves from the situations to avoid embarrassment, failure, or defeat.
- Shifts in Behavior – Alzheimer’s Disease often causes abnormal behavior changes in individuals. Unlike normal age-related changes these personality changes and mood shifts often change a person’s overall demeanor taking them from happy and personable to suspicious and angry, depressed and confused, anxious and frightened, to a combination of all of these.
Meeting Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Needs for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease
Stellar Transportation is the leading non-emergency medical transportation service, local and long-distance, for Alzheimer’s patients. The Stellar team delivers exception service with fully equipped transportation able to accommodate wheelchair and stretcher patients. Drivers at Stellar are trained in senior sensitivity to ensure the best possible services door- through-door with safety and comfort as the top priorities. Call today!