Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, it is not something that inevitably happens in later life. Rather, it is one of the dementing disorders, a group of brain diseases that lead to the loss of mental and physical functions. Many of the symptoms mentioned in this article seem rather common as we age, however, if the symptoms changes the person’s character completely, or if the problem worsened steadily over 6 months, it is something to think about.
The following information is obtained from the book ” The Alzheimer’s Action Plan”.
Difficulty learning and holding on to new information. Trouble with step-by-step reasoning, such as following directions or figuring out in a logical fashion why something won’t work. Repeating themselves. Forgetting recent conversations or events. Not knowing where to look for misplaced things, because they can’t retrace their steps or remember where they might have had something last. Inability to remember the normal words, so they substitute general words for specific names, such as “the girls” for a wife and daughter or ” the cleaner” for the vacuum. They may also use words that don’t quite sound right but make sense to them. For example, a math teacher began to say, ” That doesn’t correlate,” whenever she was confused. Reading and rereading instructions without understanding.
Poor Judgment Calls
Bad financial decisions, such as falling for a get rich quick scam that previously they owould have known to avoid. Excessive generosity with money. Going out alone at night in dangerous area.
Getting lost in familiar places Misinterpreting what they hear. Repeatedly asking what they are supposed to be doing right now. Struggling to make simple decisions or choices. Mistaking the past for the present, such as believing they still pay their bills on time as they once did, or trying to go to their former office. Not knowing ho to respond if something unexpected happens, such as being faced with a detour when driving. Getting confused by tasks that require using numbers, such as a making change or paying bills.
Dropping their normal routines and social activities. Changing their preferences in both food and dress. Losing interest in hobbies, family, friends or work. Repeating the same action, such as dusting the same spot, or never completing a task because they forget that they set out to do. Difficulty starting, planning, or organizing meals, trips or any event that was once routine, in part because they are easily distracted. A shortened attention span; wanting to leave an event soon after arriving. Trouble driving or doing routine activities. Visuospatial problems, such as overreaching for objects or misjudging the distance between cars. Disregarding polite rules of conduct. Obsessively checking things, such as whether the doors are locked. Hoarding things of little value, such as tissue boxes. Refusing treatment for other conditions, especially depressions.
Becoming passive and less animated. Resisting change or anything new. Becoming silly, moody, generous, or trusting. Being argumentative, especially at work and at htome. Becoming easily frustrated or angry. Taking unusual risk. Acting impulsively, without regard for the feelings of others. Misunderstanding sarcasm, humor, or subtleties. Becoming obstinate, stubborn, insensitive, tactless, suspicious, threatening, or accusatory. Responding poorly to any kind of change, wheather it’s going on a trip, staying in the hospital, or switching bedrooms.