More than 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s, with the vast majority of those individuals age 65 or older. The remaining individuals can be diagnosed with dementia as young as their 40s and 50s, but it’s not unusual for the symptoms to be masked by the general stresses of daily life. Be on the lookout for these early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Normal Age-Related Forgetfulness or Alzheimer’s?
Normal age-related memory challenges can include getting temporarily confused about the day of the week or making the odd error when balancing your finances. With Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, individuals will have more extensive issues, including:
- Difficulty reading or judging distance
- Problems with completing a familiar recipe or paying monthly bills
- Losing track of seasons or the passage of time
- Extensive vision changes such as the inability to distinguish colors or contrast
- Unexpected trouble with vocabulary; replacing common words with an incorrect name
- Poor judgment in self-care or personal finances
- Inability to follow conversations or their favorite sports activities, television shows or books
- Serious mood changes, such as aggression, confusion, fearfulness and depression
Scientists still do not fully understand the complex changes involved in the function of the brain, specifically around the causes of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. What is understood is that early toxicological changes can be discovered even before symptoms are manifested visibly in the individual. It’s often difficult to make the determination between mild cognitive impairment due to advanced age and the true symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be extremely challenging, and it’s best to seek care if you feel there’s a possibility you or a loved one is suffering from one of these mentally debilitating diseases. Quick identification can help provide you with the best possible care. As the symptoms expand, it’s often helpful to seek short or longer-term in-home healthcare. At Santé Home Health and Rehabilitation, we provide caring and respectful support for your loved ones. Contact us today at 480-563-2402 to schedule a visit to one of our four locations or to learn more about the services that we offer.