What is Alzheimer Disease and What are the Warning Signs

If your parents or spouse has started to become forgetful, it is common to wonder if this could be the early signs of Alzheimer's Disease. Many people start to worry about forgetfulness as they age. It can start simply, with forgetting where you left your keys or getting lost while running errands. And it can be as scary for the person who is forgetting, as for those who love that person.

So what exactly is Alzheimer's Disease? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” While a symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, it is not the only cause of memory loss. This means that you shouldn’t assume that just because you or a loved one is having difficulty remembering things that they have Alzheimer's Disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 Warning Signs to look for if you are concerned that a loved one might have Alzheimer’s. They include:

You can learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and the signs of Alzheimer’s by visiting the Alzheimer’s Association website.

  • Memory Loss that Disrupts Daily Life. One sign of Alzheimer’s occurs when someone frequently forgets recently learned information, important dates, asks to have information repeated often, writes down notes or reminders, or asks others to handle tasks for them.
  • Challenges With Planning or Solving Problems. Having difficulties with handling the bills, cooking with familiar recipes or concentrating can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks at Home or Work. If it is suddenly difficult to do once easy, daily tasks like driving to work or the store, or if it is difficult to remember how to participate in a favorite activity, these can be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • Confusion with Times or Places. Are you or a loved one suddenly having trouble keeping track of dates, times, or the passage of time? If you sometimes don’t know where you are or how you got there, this could be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • The trouble with Visual Images and Spatial Relationships. Difficulty with reading, judging distance, or contrast can all be signs of Alzheimer’s.
  • The trouble with Speaking or Writing. One of the signs of Alzheimer’s is having difficulty joining or maintaining a conversation. Other signs include repeating yourself, calling things by the wrong name, or struggling to find the right word.
  • Misplacing Things. A person showing signs of Alzheimer’s may have trouble finding things they have lost. They may put things in unusual places and may even accuse people of stealing their things.
  • Decreased or Poor Judgment. Changes in judgment are often a sign of Alzheimer’s. This can include anything from changes in grooming habits to giving away large sums of money to strangers or charities they don’t often support.
  • Withdrawal from Social Networks. A person who is showing signs of Alzheimer’s may start to withdrawal from their social activities. This can be a result of the memory loss they are experiencing.
  • Change in Mood and Personality. If you or a loved one is experiencing mood or personality changes including confusion, depression, fear, or anxiety, they may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s.