Most people think the only Alzheimer’s symptom is forgetting. But Alzheimer’s symptoms go beyond Grandma forgetting where she put her glasses. Alzheimer’s disease robs men and women of their ability to think clearly by slowly destroying brain cells. An Alzheimer’s symptom often shows itself gradually, progressing from what seems to be simple memory loss to a total dependence of the patient on a family member or caregiver.
An Alzheimer’s symptom may often disguise itself as just an every day lapse in memory, or irritability at a daily situation. Family members may dismiss the Alzheimer’s symptom in their loved one as simply a sign of getting older. The Alzheimer’s Association has complied a list of symptoms that should serve as warning signs to families who think they have Alzheimer’s disease.
Memory loss is the most well-known Alzheimer’s symptom. If you tell Grandpa he is going to the grocery store and he forgets 20 minutes later, he may have Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty planning and doing everyday activities. They often forget what you just told them but may remember a story form childhood.
Not completing everyday activities is another Alzheimer’s symptom. The grandmother who used to cook large Sunday dinners will have a hard time making a sandwich for herself. Bills may pile up on a table, unpaid because the Alzheimer’s patient can’t remember and has lost track of them.
Alzheimer’s patients may have a hard time telling their loved ones that about their difficulties–another Alzheimer’s symptom. They can’t find the right words to say or their words are hard to understand.
Another Alzheimer’s symptom is losing a sense of time and place. There are well-publicized accounts of Alzheimer’s patients getting lost after wandering away from home. They also may not remember how to get home from a simple shopping trip.
Seeing Grandma with a fur coat on in July is another Alzheimer’s symptom. Dementia patients lack good judgment. This is why telemarketers prey on the elderly–their lack of judgment often leads them to give away large sums of money.
If your loved one has lost track of his or her money, it is another Alzheimer’s symptom. The grandfather who was once a financial wizard may forget how to balance his checkbook. Simple math problems are now complex.
In fact, you may find Grandpa’s checkbook in the microwave oven–another Alzheimer’s symptom. Alzheimer’s patients often forget where they have placed things because they put them in strange places. While it can be comical to find Grandma’s support hose in the refrigerator, it a serious sign something is wrong.
A common Alzheimer’s symptom shows itself in personality changes. Mood swings are common in Alzheimer’s patients. Men and women who were once independent cling to relatives. They are anxious, scared and confused. The patients may sleep a lot and when they are awake have no desire to venture outside the homes.
An Alzheimer’s symptom or symptoms will vary from person to person. Those who believe his or her loved one has Alzheimer’s disease should talk with their doctor about the Alzheimer’s symptom.