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Alzheimer's Association 10 Warning Signs Cheat Sheet by

10 warning signs of Alzheimer's
medical     healthcare

Introd­uction

The Alzhei­mer's Associ­ation has an updated list of 10 warning signs of Alzhei­mer's. Each warning sign includes a descri­ption with examples. In addition, there is a brief statement of normal or typical age related changes that may not be a cause to worry.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

One of the most common signs of Alzhei­mer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned inform­ation. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same inform­ation over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own
What's typical? Sometimes forgetting names or appoin­tments, but rememb­ering them later.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems

Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concen­trating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What's typical? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks

People with Alzhei­mer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or rememb­ering the rules of a favorite game.
What's typical? Occasi­onally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

4. Confusion with time or place

People with Alzhei­mer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble unders­tanding something if it is not happening immedi­ately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What's typical? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5. Trouble with images­/sp­atial relati­onships

For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzhei­mer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determ­ining color or contrast. In terms of percep­tion, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
What's typical? Vision changes related to cataracts
 

6. New problems speaking or writing

People with Alzhei­mer's may have trouble following or joining a conver­sation. They may stop in the middle of a conver­sation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themse­lves. They may struggle with vocabu­lary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a "­wat­ch" a "­han­d-c­loc­k").
What's typical? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word

7. Misplacing things & unabale to retrace steps

A person with Alzhei­mer's disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
What's typical? Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control

8. Decreased or poor judgmen

People with Alzhei­mer's may experience changes in judgment or decisi­on-­making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telema­rke­ters. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
What's typical? Making a bad decision once in a while.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities

A person with Alzhei­mer's may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activi­ties, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or rememb­ering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experi­enced.
What's typical? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obliga­tions

10. Changes in mood and person­ality

The mood and person­alities of people with Alzhei­mer's can change. They can become confused, suspic­ious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
What's typical? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted

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