Around 1 in 9 seniors over the age of 65 will get Alzheimer’s. Getting older is the biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. The risk increases every year past the age of 65. 73% of the seniors that have Alzheimer’s are over the age of 70.
Noticing some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s is important. When seniors are diagnosed early there is a better chance that they will be able to use medications and therapies to slow down the process of cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s home care, occupational therapy, and family intervention can also help seniors maintain their cognitive abilities as long as possible. When seniors do start to decline, Alzheimer’s home care can help them continue to live independently.
But the first step is getting diagnosed, and that means families and seniors need to know what the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s are. If you senior parent is showing any of these signs make sure they get a cognitive test soon.
Mild Memory Loss
Memory impairment is often one of the earliest and most noticeable signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals may have difficulty recalling recently learned information, forgetting important dates or events, and relying on notes or reminders to remember tasks. Even mild memory loss can indicate a cognitive problem. Don’t dismiss mild memory loss as just part of aging. Get it checked out by a doctor.
Difficulty with Planning and Problem-Solving
People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may struggle with tasks that involve planning, organization, and problem-solving. They might find it challenging to follow a recipe, manage finances, or complete multi-step tasks that were once routine.
Confusion with Time and Place
Individuals with early Alzheimer’s might become disoriented and confused about the current time, date, and location. They may also experience difficulty understanding the sequence of events or remembering how they arrived at a particular place.
Trouble with Language
Everyone forgets the right word or struggles with a phrase now and then. But when seniors have more than a little trouble with language that’s a red flag. A person with early-stage Alzheimer’s might have difficulty finding the right words during conversations, repeating phrases or stories, and struggling to follow or participate in discussions.
It’s common for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s to misplace items and struggle to retrace their steps to locate them. They might put things in unusual places and accuse others of stealing or hiding their belongings.
Changes in Judgment
Early signs can include poor judgment and decision-making. Individuals may make decisions that seem out of character or show decreased ability to evaluate risks and consequences.
Withdrawal from Social Activities
People with early Alzheimer’s might start to withdraw from social activities, hobbies, or work projects they once enjoyed. They may lose interest in interacting with others due to the challenges they face in communication and memory.
Mood and Personality Changes
Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression can manifest as early signs of Alzheimer’s. These changes may be due to the frustration and confusion caused by cognitive decline.
Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks
Simple tasks that were once routine, such as dressing, grooming, or cooking, may become challenging for individuals with early Alzheimer’s. They might struggle to remember the steps or sequence required to complete these tasks.
Changes in Spatial Awareness
Early signs of Alzheimer’s can include difficulty with spatial relationships and visual perception. Individuals may have trouble judging distances, which can mean they stumble, walk into walls, or start falling more frequently.