Alzheimer’s disease affects each individual differently and usually progresses slowly making it difficult to identify the condition in its early stages.
The early symptoms are subtle, often overlapping, and difficult to predict or diagnose. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and its severity have no logical pattern. Its evolution is entirely different from person to person, however, the disease does have common stages and even those are fuzzy.
What the disease does promise is that it starts as something implicitly senile but eventually results in the takeover of every aspect of a person’s life: how they think, speak, feel, and act.
The whitepaper Spot The Early Signs of Alzheimer’s recently published by Home Care Assistance helps to demystify the signs and symptoms of this confusing disease.
To spot the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, be aware of:
- The differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s
- The most common early signs of Alzheimer’s
- Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment
To understand what to look for is critical for any success of early detection.
The differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s
It is not uncommon for people over 65 to experience memory loss on occasion, however forgetting things more frequently could signal an irregular part of aging.
According to medical professionals around the world, the following are the most common early indicators of Alzheimer’s:
- Memory loss
- Planning familiar tasks become a challenge
- Confusion with time and place
- Problems with speaking and writing
- Misplacing things
- Compromised decision making and judgement
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in mood and personality
This list appears in no particular order. Any of these early symptoms can be exhibited in one individual for long periods of time and others not. The frequency, severity, and duration of these symptoms also vary and fluctuate from person to person.
The most common early signs of Alzheimer’s
Decades of research show that the build-up of toxic proteins in the brain, called
beta-amyloid and tau, can lead to Alzheimer’s. What is less clear is what causes these proteins to accumulate, and the causes go beyond genetics and unhealthy habits. Numbers show the disease can start as early as age 40.
The most common and surprising early signs of Alzheimer’s are:
- Difficulty in processing information and conversations causing apathy & social withdrawal
- Sudden lack of understanding and attention towards maintaining personal hygiene
- The onset of anxiety and depression
- Complaints of eyesight and changes in vision caused by the brain’s inability to process images
The disease changes the person it afflicts. It starts to take over the mind and shut down the brain so that the person eventually loses the ability to process surrounding environments. Changes in cognitive and functional abilities, emotions and moods, behavior and their physical abilities will be majorly observed.
Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment
Disbelief, denial, or “why me” are all common reactions upon diagnosis. Even if you and the family have somewhat expected it, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is a shock for everyone especially the diagnosed. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and its progression cannot be stopped.
Slowing down its progression is, however, possible with lifestyle choices and new medical treatment options. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the following to-do list will be helpful:
- Plan for the future when your loved one will be unable to make a decision independently
- Arrange financial and legal matters
- Address potential safety issues in the home
- Learn about supportive, specialized living arrangements outside the home
- Develop support networks for the diagnosed with family members and caregivers
As the disease progresses, the ability to communicate and take care of oneself diminish and eventually vanish. Care is required 24/7. Quality of life, comfort, and respect for the mind, physical and spiritual needs of the one suffering become more important above all.
While the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s are well known, they are not considered a clinical diagnosis. Should you or someone you love be exhibiting early signs of Alzheimer’s, consult a physician right away.
For further reading, download a copy of Spot The Early Signs of Alzheimer’s white paper, here.
We work with hundreds of older adults suffering from Alzheimer‘s and other forms of Dementia, ranging from mild to severe impairment. We understand the importance of comfort and familiarity for our clients. The right environment and an experienced caregiver can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day.
Finding a caregiver who understands Alzheimer’s is critical to anyone suffering from the disease. Please do not hesitate to call us at (778) 279-3634 to learn about our Alzheimer’s and Dementia care plans personalized to the individual’s needs, conditions, and prognosis.