10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

1) Memory loss that disrupts daily life

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss,
especially forgetting recently learned information.

Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking
for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder
notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to
handle on their own.

What’s typical? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments,
but remembering them later.

2) Challenges in planning or solving problems

Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and
follow a plan or work with numbers.

They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping
track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much
longer to do things than they did before.

What’s typical? Making occasional errors when balancing a
checkbook.

3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at
leisure

People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily
tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location,
managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a
favorite game.

What’s typical? Occasionally needing help to use the settings
on a microwave or to record a television show.

4) Confusion with time or place

People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and
the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not
happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got
there.

What’s typical? Getting confused about the day of the week
but figuring it out later.

5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial
relationships

For some people, having vision problems is a sign of
Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining
color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think
someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the
mirror.

6) New problems with words in speaking or writing

People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining
a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea
how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with
vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong
name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

What’s typical? Sometimes having trouble finding the right
word.

7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual
places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find
them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more
frequently over time.

What’s typical? Misplacing things from time to time, such as
a pair of glasses or the remote control

8) Decreased or poor judgment

People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or
decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with
money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping
themselves clean.

What’s typical? Making a bad decision once in a while.

9) Withdrawal from work or social activities

A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from
hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble
keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a
favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they
have experienced.

What’s typical? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and
social obligations

10) Changes in mood and personality

The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused,
suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at
work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

What’s typical? Developing very specific ways of doing things
and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted

— From the Alzheimer’s Association

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