“We visited Mom recently. And I have to say I am really concerned. She always sounds so good on the phone. But staying with her for 5 days made me wonder. Could Mom be developing Alzheimer’s?”
Alzheimer’s Disease is one that strikes fear in most people. But is it Alzheimer’s or just normal aging?
Recognizing the true symptoms of Alzheimer’s could mean early treatment and intervention. And this could push back the clock a bit. In the beginning stages, someone with Alzheimer’s can manage pretty well. They may need some assistance. But they are still able to do most of their day to day activities. Staying in this stage longer could be a blessing for both the Alzheimer’s patient and for their family.
And detecting the disease early may mean that you avoid unpleasant situations. Nobody wants to see someone they love end up on the Silver Alert billboard. Making sure your loved one is safe is important. And continuing to drive with the disease could be risky.
Here are some of the symptoms that may indicate a need to visit your doctor. It is important, however, if you suspect Alzheimer’s that you see a specialist. Most general practitioners and Internal Medicine doctors have little knowledge about diagnosing this disease. As such, you will want to see a neurologist that specializes in Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia.
1. Memory Loss
Mom keeps repeating the same story or question over and over. This is a common theme. Now the truth is we all repeat stories from time to time. We may forget who we told the story to before. But when the same story is repeated in a short period of time this is a red flag that something may not be quite right.
“Mom kept calling me and asking me to pick up some eggs for her at the store. She called 5 times in a two-hour period. Each time it was evident that she did not remember asking me this before” ~Connie
2. Difficulty Planning and Solving Problems
Often this is noticed when there is a problem with the bank account. Or you may come for a visit and notice stacks of unopened mail. The person with the disease may not be sure what to do with the bills.
3. Misplacing Items Often
Misplacing items more often and then finding them in unusual places can indicate a problem.
“Pat lost a lot of expensive jewelry. She reported to the police that it had been stolen from her car. A few months later she found the jewelry stuffed into a sock in one of her drawers.”~ Karen
“Dad couldn’t find his wallet. It was in the freezer.” ~ Sharon
4. Difficulty Finding the Right Words Can Be a Symptom.
It happens to all of us sometimes but when it is happening frequently it is time to take notice.
“Looking back”, Sharon told me, “there were several phone conversations when Mom said bizarre things. She would use a word that made absolutely no sense in the conversation. She would catch herself and we both just brushed it off. I wish I would have realized that something may be going on.”
5.Personality and Mood Changes
We all have mood changes from time to time. But when these changes are extreme it could be a warning. Extreme swings in mood and behavior may be noticed. Look for big changes in:
And if small changes in a routine cause irritation or anger this could also be a sign. In the beginning, someone with Alzheimer’s may realize that something is wrong. As such they try to hang on to their life by keeping a tight routine. If you change something in their routine, they may become confused. This can cause agitation.
This is why moving someone with the disease often creates more symptoms. They often go downhill when moving to a new home. However, if placed in the right memory care facility that downhill slide can be turned around. You will often notice that with the right care mom or dad begins to thrive.
At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care our staff receives 5 times the training that most facilities provide. This means the caregivers understand Alzheimer’s Disease. They know how to care for your loved one. It is important to make sure you find a place that will take the time to connect with your loved one.
6. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
If mom seems to struggle in the kitchen, she may avoid this area. Someone who used to love to cook may no longer be able to follow a recipe. Someone with early-onset Alzheimer’s may start making mistakes at work. Depending on the job they have this can cause serious consequences.
After President Regan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s there was a lot of speculation over his presidency. People wondered whether he had the disease while in office. Furthermore, they wondered if it affected his decisions. The truth is we probably will never know for sure.
When someone starts having problems in this area it is really important to visit a neurologist. Driving, cooking and other activities may no longer be safe.
Reach For Help
If you are concerned that someone you care about may have Alzheimer’s Disease the Alzheimer’s Association may be your first step. This organization is chocked full of resources. They can help you find a doctor in your area. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a number of caregiver support groups. The groups are found all over the United States. They are even offered online. So, if your brother lives in California and your sister is in Montana, you will all be able to get the help you need. Don’t suffer in silence. There are many resources and people who can help you on this journey.
Learn more about Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care and how we can help. Call us at 832.791.1577