As seniors transition into a new phase of life, various behavioral changes are commonplace. Distinguishing between natural aging processes and potential health concerns can be challenging.
With Alzheimer’s awareness on the rise and ample resources available in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, caregivers and loved ones have the opportunity to learn about early indicators, enabling them to address any concerns promptly. January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and while Alzheimer’s Awareness Month may stop at the end of January, the experiences of people who live with dementia do not.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80% of all cases of dementia. However, it’s not always that if a person has dementia, then they have Alzheimer’s disease – or that all dementias are a form of Alzheimer’s. Each person is affected differently.
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s:
Being vigilant about changes in behavior is crucial for early detection and intervention. The following early signs of Alzheimer’s warrant attention:
- Confusion Regarding Place or Time: Regularly losing track of dates and being disoriented about the passage of time. Difficulty in recognizing or recalling specific locations.
- Constant Misplacement of Items and Inability to Retrace Steps: Frequently putting things in unusual places, experiencing frequent loss of items, and struggling to retrace steps to find them.
- Conversational Challenges: Difficulties in conversations, like forgetting mid-sentence, repetitive phrases, or struggling to recall the right words.
- Decreased Engagement in Activities: Showing reduced interest or participation in hobbies, groups, projects, and events.
- Difficulty Managing Routine Tasks: Increased difficulty in handling everyday tasks at home, work, or during activities.
- Memory Loss Impacting Daily Life: Forgetting important information, repeated requests for the same information, or reliance on others or memory aids for previously manageable tasks.
- Mood and Personality Changes: Heightened occurrence of negative emotions like stress, anxiety, confusion, sadness, anger, and frustration.
- Impaired Judgment: Exhibiting poor judgment, challenges in decision-making, and struggles with prioritization.
- Social Withdrawal: Spending less time in social settings, withdrawing from social interactions, and isolating oneself.
- Trouble with Planning and Problem-Solving: Difficulties in critical thinking, making plans, and navigating challenges that require problem-solving. Changes in concentration levels.
- Visual-Spatial Challenges: Increased difficulty in reading, judging distances and spaces, and distinguishing colors.
If you observe these behavioral patterns in a senior you care for, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with a doctor in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. Early action allows for timely diagnosis or the ruling out of Alzheimer’s, enabling further tests and consultations.