Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that slowly causes memory loss, eventually impacting thinking and reasoning skills. As it progresses, it can become severe enough to interfere with daily life. As the most common cause of dementia, or general memory loss with cognitive interference, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 70% of dementia cases. With an Alzheimer’s diagnosis comes the need for appropriate memory care and a long-term plan to ensure the person’s safety and comfort.
There is no single test that provides a diagnosis, so it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms related to dementia. While serious memory loss can look different from person to person, there are several common indicators to be aware of. Below, we highlight the most important tips for identifying Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is important to see your physician if any of these become a concern:
1. Disruption of Daily Life
We all forget things from time to time, but there can be a large spectrum when it comes to how much it impacts your life. One of the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is forgetting recent information, events or important dates. Another common indicator includes repeated asking of the same question.
2. Difficulty Completing Daily Tasks
It’s common for those with dementia to be unable to develop and follow a plan, keep track of monthly bills, following recipes, making a grocery list or other daily tasks that require problem solving. They may take longer to complete tasks because they have trouble concentrating.
3. Visual or Spatial Issues
For some, vision problems that lead to trouble balancing or reading can be an early sign of dementia. This may also manifest in other ways, such as issues seeing color and contrast or judging distance, which can impact driving.
4. Confusion Around Time
Those experiencing dementia can begin to lose track of dates, seasons and time in general. A person may not be able to comprehend why an event isn’t happening immediately because time becomes more complicated to them. They may also forget where they are or how they got to where they are.
5. Issues Speaking or Writing
While it’s common for you to occasionally forget a word you’re looking for, individuals living with dementia may have trouble with vocabulary in a way that impacts conversations. They may start to repeat themselves, or struggle to name a familiar object.
6. Personality or Mood Changes
Those with Alzheimer’s can experience a noticeable shift in personality and mood. They may become depressed, suspicious, anxious, fearful, confused, or easily upset when with friends or family, at home or other previously “comfortable” situations.
7. Frequently Losing Items
Someone with dementia may lose things and then be unable to retrace their steps to find what they are looking for. They can put items in unusual places and, as the disease progresses, may accuse others of stealing.
8. Poor or Decreased Judgement
No one is perfect – sometimes we all make mistakes in judgement. However, you may see a loved one with memory loss beginning to show signs of more than just the occasional bad decision. They may start paying less attention to grooming and cleanliness, or having decreased judgement when making financial decisions.
9. Withdrawal From Activities
A person with memory loss can have difficulty holding or following conversations, so as a result may start to withdraw from social events, activities and even work.
Legacy Memory Care at OceanView
Legacy Memory Care at OceanView offers a community that is uniquely designed for those with memory loss, with a person-centered focus that ensures each resident is able to enjoy meaningful experiences while staying safe. With comfortable surroundings, personal engagement and active reassurance, residents experiencing all stages of cognitive impairment can have peace of mind and security with our thoughtful care management.
OceanView’s state-of-the-art private apartments provide secure care designed using architecture and color to provide cues, encouraging residents to partake in activities and explore other amenities such as a media room, salon, library and beautiful blooming garden with a walking path. Our compassionate team of caregivers are specially trained in memory care and provide 24-hour assistance, with our Habilitation Therapy Programming bringing enrichment and quality to the lives of our residents.
To learn more about Legacy Memory Care and our retirement community at OceanView, please contact us today!