Alzheimer’s Awareness: The More You Know

November 15th, 2011

Everyone becomes somewhat forgetful with age. Mild memory loss is not something to be overly concerned with usually, but when it begins to interfere with daily activities, it may be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Knowing more about the disease and its warning signs can help family members and caregivers know when they are dealing with normal memory loss and when it might be something more serious. Alzheimer’s disease typically begins after 60, and the risk increases with age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are ten warning signs for Alzheimer’s:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life – forgetting recently learned information or important dates
  2. Trouble in planning or solving problems – difficulty following familiar instructions, recipes, how to pay monthly bills, etc.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks – trouble driving to or navigating to familiar places
  4. Time and place confusion – losing track of days or seasons
  5. Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships – difficulty judging distance or determining colors
  6. New problems with speaking or writing – repetitive speech, trouble following conversations
  7. Misplacing things, inability to retrace steps – putting things in unusual places, may accuse others of stealing
  8. Decreased or poor judgment – problems dealing with money, paying less attention to grooming
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities – shying away from social functions or tasks
  10. Changes in mood or personality – easily upset, confused, suspicious, fearful, etc.

If you’ve noticed a loved one who is experiencing any of these behaviors or symptoms, contact his or her physician. The staff at Visiting Angels, servicing the San Francisco Bay area, are happy to help you determine the best course of in-home care for your loved one. Contact us in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977 for assistance.