As of today, Alzheimer’s is still an incurable disease affecting over 500,000 Canadians. As baby boomers transition into old age, those numbers are expected to nearly double over the next 15 years. As more and more people are being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, it is becoming increasingly important for people to know how to recognize the symptoms. Catching the disease early can help with overall treatment, so if you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the following early symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
Here are the early signs of Alzheimer’s:
Issues with Routine Tasks
Losing the ability to remember how to do familiar and routine tasks is an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. Sure, we all lose our keys from time to time, but if you are struggling to remember the directions to your work or the computer passwords you use daily, then you should seek medical attention.
One of the most notable signs is memory loss. People with Alzheimer’s often forget recent information, important dates, their own birthday, names of relatives, and scheduled events. Others tend to ask for the information to be relayed numerous times, and still may not be able to remember the information.
Often those with Alzheimer’s lose track of time and where they are. Another tell-tale sign is having difficulty remembering how you got to a place, and cannot trace any of your steps there. Confusing stories, and repeating the same stories, are also signals.
Issues with vision, such as determining distance when driving, experiencing changing colours, or increased sensitivity to light are common symptoms of this disease.
Issues with Speech
Another warning sign is having difficulty with speech. Having issues with conversing, including vocabulary problems, coherency, and issues with following conversations are all concerns.
Difficulty Solving Problems
Often, people with Alzheimer’s have difficulty solving simple problems or figuring out how to do things they once knew how to do, such as paying their bills or doing basic calculations.
Change of Emotions and Moods
A recent change of mood, such as lack of concern, indifference, loss of interest in favourite hobbies, as well as becoming withdrawn can all be tell-tale signs of early onset.
Acting out of character can be an indication of early Alzheimer’s disease also. Some examples include outbursts, paranoia, hiding possessions, and repetition of actions and words.
Lack of Coordination
The disease can also impact a person’s motor skills and coordination. Many simple day-to-day tasks can be affected such as eating, walking, or getting ready in the morning for work.
Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that affects everyone differently. It causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and speech, affecting a person’s daily life. If you are concerned, consult with your doctor. Early diagnosis will allow for prompt treatment and can help to improve the chances of maintaining a healthy life for as long as possible.
At Qualicare Family Homecare, we specialize in caring for patients with Alzheimer’s. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can help. Contact us today for a free in-home assessment. Looking for home care in Waterloo? Please contact Qualicare Waterloo.
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