Almost 750 000 Canadians live with Alzheimer’s disease, and most people with the condition are over 65. While there isn’t currently a cure, knowing the early signs and symptoms can prevent a significant hardship. If you’re worried about yourself or someone you love because of sudden unusual behaviour, don’t ignore it. By spotting the disease early, you can seek proper treatment, including medication that can reduce symptoms and support from caregivers and other medical professionals.
There are five early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. If any of the following sound familiar to you, schedule an appointment with your or your loved one’s doctor straight away.
1. Disruptive Memory Loss
Memory loss can be challenging to point out in seniors because some loss of memory is a common sign of ageing. However, there are ways to identify Alzheimer’s memory loss versus natural memory loss. Where the average senior might forget appointment times or acquaintance names — someone with Alzheimer’s will repeatedly forget where they put their keys, ask the same questions over and over, and forget pertinent dates, such as a spouse’s birthday. Watch for repeated forgetfulness and how often your loved one makes such mistakes.
2. Trouble Performing Everyday Tasks
It’s one thing to forget to add an ingredient to a new recipe, but it’s quite different when you suddenly can’t remember how to use the same TV remote you’ve had for years. People with Alzheimer’s disease can forget how to do something that would otherwise be familiar to them. Sometimes they’ll forget how to drive to a location that they’ve gone to a hundred times before or how to play their favourite card game.
3. Confusing Time and Place
Have you ever felt like you don’t know where you are, only to realize you’re in the living room of your home? It’s common to confuse the days of the week sometimes or to wake from an afternoon nap and feel disoriented. But for people with Alzheimer’s disease, such confusion can last for extended periods, interfering with daily life.
4. Verbal and Written Communication Problems
People with Alzheimer’s have a difficult time following along with conversations. Often, they can’t understand the flow of a conversation, and if they try to contribute, they’ll forget what they wanted to say or may repeat themselves.
5. Exhibiting Poor Judgment
An individual with Alzheimer’s might dress unusually or exhibit unintentional poor hygiene. They may say things that are out of character and take no notice.
What You Can Do
If you recognize any of the above signs, either in yourself or someone close to you, get in touch with a professional home healthcare provider that offers dementia care services in Toronto and the surrounding area. They can provide the support you’ll need right in the comfort of home. You should also contact your health professional to seek additional medical treatment.
Alzheimer’s is a serious disease, and without the right support, it can be devastating. Don’t take any of these signs and symptoms lightly. If you have a health concern, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor today.