Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that slowly destroys cognitive thinking and memory skills, and it progresses in three stages: early, middle, and late.In the United States alone, about 5.8 million people currently have the disease. Alzheimer’s mostly affects the senior population, but people of all ages can develop it. It’s an irreversible brain disorder that causes critical communicative interruptions between brain neurons. Such interruptions weaken the cells until they eventually stop working entirely.
While there isn’t a cure for the disease yet, there are measures that you can take to plan for the future and possibly slow down the advancement of the illness. The first step is to identify whether or not you have Alzheimer’s. For example, do you notice a lapse in your memory lately? It might be a sign of ageing or stress, but if you’re concerned about it, you’ll want to investigate this symptom further. Read on to know the five early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Drastic Memory Loss
There are several reasons why people tend to forget things. For example, perhaps you have insomnia and aren’t getting enough rest at night, or you’re going through a stressful time and feel distracted by whatever is going on in your life. But if you notice daily forgetfulness with simple tasks, then you might have cause for concern. A common sign of Alzheimer’s is to forget recently learned information. Others include forgetting dates, names of people you love, and increasingly relying on memory notes or electronic reminder alerts.
People with Alzheimer’s disease start to experience confusion about time and place. Do you ever lose track of time, forgetting what year it is or where you are at any given moment? If so, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
3. Problem-Solving Challenges
Some people with the disease will notice a change in their problem-solving skills. You may have trouble preparing a familiar recipe or forgetting to pay monthly bills.
4. Misplacing Items
Do you frequently misplace items, such as your keys or favourite coffee mug? It’s normal to forget where you’ve put something once in a while, but you should take this symptom very seriously if it’s repeatedly happening. It’s also common for people with the disease to place items in unusual items. For example, have you ever found a cell phone in the fridge? Such behaviour could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.
5. Struggling with Vocabulary
Often, people with the disease forget how to pronounce words. They may struggle with remembering words for familiar objects and feel confused. You may also find it challenging to engage in conversation with others because you can’t keep up with the dialogue. You find yourself struggling to understand the flow of discussion.
If any of these signs resonate with you, it’s time to discuss them with your doctor. You might be eligible for at-home dementia care from a professional home healthcare agency. Your doctor can also prescribe additional helpful treatments and coping mechanisms for you and your family.
Don’t ignore the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Get in touch with your healthcare professional immediately if you think you might have the disease.