Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is an overall term used to describe various brain disorders caused by physical changes in the brain. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 564,000 individuals in Canada are currently living with dementia and this number is expected to increase to 1.4 million people by 2031. Whether you’re experiencing possible symptoms or are concerned for your loved ones, the Alzheimer Society has developed the following list of signs to look for:
1 Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss, especially short-term.
2 Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a routine or plan.
3 Difficulties completing familiar tasks. Daily tasks are often difficult to complete for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
4 Confusion. It’s not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s disease to lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Sometimes they may even forget where they are or how they got there.
5 Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships. Vision problems are another common sign of Alzheimer’s disease. People may experience difficulty reading, judging distance, or determining colour and contrast.
6 Problems with speaking or writing words. Individuals with Alzheimer’s may have trouble joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue, or they may repeat themselves.
7 Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace steps. People with Alzheimer’s disease may often put things in unusual places.
8 Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer’s disease may experience poor judgment or decision-making. They may also pay less attention to grooming or taking care of themselves.
9 Withdrawal from work or social activities. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease avoid being social because of the changes they are experiencing.
10 Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can easily change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
Reprinted with Permission from Bayshore Home Health.