Alzheimer’s disease warning signs
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? Here are some early stage Alzheimer’s symptoms to look out for. Getting an early diagnosis is essential to live well with dementia. If you recognise a few of these symptoms and are worried about them, it might be time to see your GP.
- Forgetting the correct word in a sentence
- Not being able to remember someone’s name
- Regularly losing items, such as your keys, or your mobile phone
- Being unable to remember directions
- Becoming increasingly disorganised or untidy
What happens in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease?
During the early-stage of Alzheimer’s, it’s very likely the person living with dementia will be able to continue to do many of the things they’re used to doing everyday, such as going work, driving as normal, and keeping up with their usual diary commitments.
However, as the disease progresses, things are likely to get more difficult for them and their wider family members. Memory loss, memory problems and memory lapses will usually become more acute.
Your loved one may lose the ability to engage properly in social activities, you may also see increasingly poor judgment. They may start to lose track of conversations too.
Ultimately, at this stage of the disease, they’re likely to be able to live largely independent lives, but will be more vulnerable than they used to be when left alone.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s at the early-stage
Someone with Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to gain an understanding of what someone else is saying.
This can lead to difficultly properly following a conversation. It can make communication and vocabulary recall harder, and these Problems with language can make it difficult to cope at work.
Here are some tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s-related language issues:
- Struggling to find the right word to describe an object.
- Repetition of things they have just said
- A long pause, as they’re unable to engage in conversation.
This means experiencing trouble when trying to properly gauge distances and comprehend depth perception. This can make simple daily tasks, such as walking upstairs, difficult.
Some signs that someone is struggling to relate to the world around them:
- Bumping into the frame of the door, even at home or getting into a car
- Difficulty being able to use a map to plot and understand a route
- Finding it difficult to cross a road, not being able to judge vehicles
This includes finding it harder to make decisions and focus on seeing a task through to the end. This can make daily tasks, such as cooking, more taxing.
Here are a few practical examples of concentration difficulties that could indicate Alzheimer’s:
- Struggling to remember, or missing out a stage of a recipe that they’ve undertaken many times before.
- Stopping tasks halfway through because they start focusing on something else.
- Skipping between many different subjects and struggling to engage properly in a conversation.
Someone with Alzheimer’s may struggle to understand what day of the week, it is. This can make someone less reliable, which can be frustrating. This is can also impair mobility, making elderly care a big consideration.
Examples of this include:
- Not turning up to a regular appointment, social event, or club.
- Missing birthdays, anniversaries of those closest to them.
- Finding it difficult to understand what time of day it is.
Mental health issues
Along with cognitive function, someone who is living with early-stage Alzheimer’s is likely to suffer mood swings, anxiety and depression.
All of these mental health conditions carry a range of symptoms, but you might find your loved one:
- Suddenly bursts into tears despite no obvious reason to trigger it.
- Becomes irrationally fearful of things that used to be comfortable.
- Starts to be less consistent in the time they go to bed.
What to do if your loved one has early-stage Alzheimer’s
As soon as you suspect your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s essential to arrange an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. This can help you get a dementia diagnosis.
Even though it’s a progressive disease, catching it early can make a big difference in terms of living well with the condition and planning ahead.
Hearing an expert talking through the situation can help you come to terms with the conditions and gain a better understanding of what it’s going to mean
Importantly, your GP will also be able to give you practical advice on the various treatments available and any preparations you need to put in place.
If you’re starting to explore care options, it’s worth checking whether live-in care is a suitable solution for your family.
Discover more of our articles on dementia
From dealing with a diagnosis and understanding the implications to getting advice on how to live well with the condition, our extensive resources will help guide you through what can be a tough and emotional moment.