Warning signs of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
A popular misconception about aging is that senior moments are common and considered a normal part of getting older. While an occasional senior moment can be expected, if your loved one is frequently having difficulty with his or her memory it may be a warning sign of dementia or the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect mental tasks like memory and reasoning. This impairment interferes with a person’s ability to do things which he or she was previously able to do. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a progressive disease of the brain that slowly impairs memory and cognitive function.
Memory loss is the main warning sign for both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but there are others you should watch for:
If your loved one has two or more of the following symptoms it may be considered dementia:
- Memory loss that interrupts daily life
- Difficulty speaking or writing
- Loss of focus and inability to pay attention
- Decreased or poor judgment
- Trouble understanding visual images and recognizing spatial relationships
Alzheimer’s disease shares similar signs to dementia, although there are a few others to be aware of that may present themselves in varying degrees:
- Challenges planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
If your loved one exhibits any of these signs, consult his or her doctor for diagnosis and to learn more about treatment options.
*Source: Alzheimer’s Association