Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, it’s beneficial to recognize the warning signs so that you can get your loved one the treatment he needs to live a comfortable life. If Dad is showing any of these seven warning signs, it may be time to consult his doctor.
1. Trouble remembering things
The warning sign most people associate with Alzheimer’s is losing one’s memory. It starts with short-term memories, like losing the car keys or forgetting an appointment, but as the disease progresses, will seep into long-term memories.
2. Changes in mood and personality
If Dad hasn’t been acting like himself lately, take note of his new behaviors. Mood and personality changes such as becoming easily upset, suspicious, depressed or anxious may be indicators of Alzheimer’s. In addition, people who are usually social can become withdrawn, they may experience changes in appetite or lose interest in a favorite hobby.
3. Breaking the law
Alzheimer’s affects the part of the brain that discerns right from wrong, and stealing or other activities that break the law can be a warning sign. Dad may have developed “sticky fingers”—but may not recognize that what he’s doing is wrong.
4. Trouble completing routine tasks
If you notice that Dad can’t remember where to put dirty dishes, how to use the oven or gets lost driving to a familiar place, he might be experiencing the beginning of Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
5. Difficulty with language
Another warning sign of Alzheimer’s is not knowing how to express oneself through language. If Dad is having trouble finding the right words, or if he describes what something does instead of naming the item, it may be time to consult his doctor.
6. Poor judgment
Making poor decisions about money or other matters can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Giving large amounts of money to a questionable charity, driving recklessly and other uncharacteristically bad decisions can signal the onset of dementia.
7. Unusual behavior
Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently, so if Dad is showing signs of other behaviors that are unusual for him—such as hiding things, using foul language and wandering—it may be time to schedule an appointment with his doctor.
Life Care Services provides professional services in safe living environments for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. To learn more or to request a tour, contact Life Care Services.