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Spot 4 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

4 early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease help with early diagnosis

It can be scary and confusing if there are changes in your older adult’s memory or behavior. Homewatch CareGivers explains why early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is helpful and shares 4 early signs to watch out for.

Detect Alzheimer’s disease early for improved outcomes

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.7 million Americans aged 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to a gradual decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning abilities.

While some degree of memory loss is a natural part of aging, cognitive decline that interferes significantly with daily activities may indicate Alzheimer’s disease.

Facing Alzheimer’s disease can be scary and it’s important to acknowledge that it won’t disappear or improve over time.

However, early detection and diagnosis of this progressive disease can lead to more effective treatments, prolonged independence, the ability to make personal decisions, and improved overall well-being.

To help with early detection, here are 4 early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease that family caregivers should pay attention to.


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4 early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

1. Challenges in planning or problem-solving

Individuals may experience challenges when attempting to follow a familiar recipe or manage monthly bills.

They may find it hard to concentrate and take significantly longer to complete tasks compared to their previous abilities.

2. Difficulty in task completion

When individuals struggle to finish familiar tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities, it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Those affected may find it challenging to navigate to familiar places, handle budgeting or work responsibilities, or recall the rules of favorite games.

3. Changes in vision and balance

In some cases, individuals may experience vision changes as an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Deteriorating vision can affect body alignment, leading to difficulties in maintaining balance. 

While this symptom is more commonly observed in the later stages of the disease, the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s can begin to impact physical functions, including balance, as the condition progresses.

4. Significant mood and personality changes

People living with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in mood and personality. They may express confusion, suspicion, depression, fear, or anxiety.

They may also become easily upset at home, at work, with friends, or with being in unfamiliar environments.


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What to do if you notice early signs of Alzheimer’s

Initiating a conversation with your loved one about your concerns in a gentle way is a great way to approach the situation, followed by scheduling an appointment with their healthcare provider.

Ask if you can accompany them to the medical appointment to discuss your observations.

Maintaining open communication with your loved one is crucial to ensure they feel supported and don’t shy away from seeking necessary help.

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Guest contributor: Nicole Brackett is the  Director of Care Delivery & Quality for Homewatch CareGivers, a Licensed Practical Nurse, CEE, and has over 32 years of experience in long-term care. Nicole is also certified by The Eden Alternative and as a Certified Dementia Care Educator. Founded in 1980, Homewatch CareGivers delivers a variety of person-directed, professional at-home services including elder care, care for individuals with developmental and physical conditions, after-surgery care, and help for those living with dementia. For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and home care services, visit homewatchcaregivers.com

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

 

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