With age comes the inevitability of forgetting things, not remembering where something was placed, struggling for a memory.  These things can be frightening to someone who wonders if they are beginning to get Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  For the most part, these are just normal symptoms of aging.  But it’s important to know the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease so that you can watch out for these in a loved one, and also so you can differentiate between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

The 10 Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This is more significant memory loss than simply forgetting small details here and there.  
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems. Losing the ability to see things or plan things as you once could.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks.  This means difficulty driving, putting on your clothes, going to the grocery store, etc.
  • Confusion with time or place.  When you can’t remember where you are or what day/month/year it is.
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.  
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing.  Words that always came easily to you, you suddenly can’t remember them anymore.  Or you have trouble writing in general.
  • Misplacement of things and loss in the ability to retrace steps.  A common example of this is someone arriving at a store they frequent a lot, but suddenly they can’t find their way home.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities.  Because of all of the confusion and uncertainty, you may start to avoid social activities and events.
  • Changes in mood or personality.  Losing your memory is a frightening situation. Life seems much more dark and unhappy in a place like this.  People struggling with Alzheimer’s disease often became moody and angry.

When trying to differentiate between aging and dementia, be sure to be on the lookout for these signs. If you suspect someone you know is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and in need of special care the dedicated staff at HarborView Senior Assisted Living is here to help.