According to the Alzheimer’s Association, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds and one in three seniors will die after living with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. As we age, forgetful moments will happen, and they don’t always mean someone is developing Alzheimer’s Disease. However, at Silvergate Memory Care, we believe it is important to recognize the early signs of the disease in a loved one or family member in order to be able to talk to a doctor and begin early interventions if necessary.
Signs & Symptoms To Look For
Memory Loss – The single most common sign of Alzheimer’s Disease is memory loss, especially recently learned information. You may notice your loved one can still remember details from years past, but there’s a struggle to remember what they did earlier in the day or even details of a conversation they just had. They may forget to take medications or ask the same question several times and not remember the answer you just gave.
Poor Money Management – As memory declines, some seniors exhibit poor judgment when handling money or paying the bills. Difficulty managing a checkbook or checking account is commonplace. You may find that your loved one over-pays bills or forgets to pay them at all.
Changes in Mood – Many people with Alzheimer’s will experience mood swings ranging from calm to quickly agitated. Family members may notice their loved one losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed. They may become withdrawn or irritable. Other seniors who experience early memory loss may recognize that something is wrong and become frightened by the prospect of cognitive decline. Withdrawing from activities and staying close to home can be a method of coping with a changing world that they are having trouble navigating.
Difficulty With Everyday Tasks – A person living with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia may take longer to complete everyday tasks like dressing, bathing, cooking or cleaning. You may notice their clothes don’t match, or their hair isn’t combed or styled anymore. As the disease progresses, it becomes more and more difficult to complete tasks without assistance.
Misplacing Things – Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but those living with dementia will often hide or leave items in unusual places that don’t make sense to anyone else. Some become agitated when they can’t find something they have misplaced and accuse others of taking or hiding their belongings.
What To Do Right Now…
- Talk to your loved one’s physician about dementia. If you suspect a loved one may be suffering from memory loss, ask about whether an underlying health issue may be causing the changes, or if memory loss may be the cause. The earlier it is diagnosed, the sooner you can plan for the right care and assistance.
- If you are facing a care crisis due to memory loss, reach out to the team at Silvergate Memory Care, where you can gain insight, tour a professional memory care facility and learn more about how to navigate this challenge with a caring, compassionate family of caregivers supporting both your loved one and you.