• Mental Health

Recognizing the 10 Signs of having Alzheimer’s disease

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Do you sometimes forget things and does it have you worried?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia: a condition in which the processing of information in the brains gradually gets distorted. As many as 10% of people older than 65 suffer from it. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatments that alleviate the symptoms.

Do you sometimes forget things and does it have you worried? This is often unnecessary. Alzheimer’s is, in fact, more than just forgetfulness. You can recognise this disease because of these 10 signals:

1) Becoming Forgetful

This goes much further than needing a shopping list or forgetting Aunt Hilda’s birthday. People with (starting) Alzheimer’s often ask the same questions or need a written reminder to remember to lock the door when leaving the house.

2) Do daily activities become a problem?

For someone with Alzheimer’s, cooking, doing the laundry or going to the shops becomes increasingly more difficult or even impossible. Even things that person was good at, can become difficult to do.

3) Having a decreased sense of time and place

Alzheimer’s patients can sometimes get quite confused when it comes to time and place. They suddenly do not remember where they live or how to get to the dentist, they sometimes even have no idea if it is evening or morning.

4) Experiencing problems with language

Everyone can sometimes forget a name or a word. However, with Alzheimer’s, this gets gradually worse. Reading and writing become more difficult and having a phone conversation grow into a tiring process.

5) Leaving things behind in strange places

Finding a book in the fridge, leaving their wallet in their lunchbox: Alzheimer’s patients often lose their belongings because they tend to leave them in illogical locations.

6) Decreased judgement

People suffering from Alzheimer’s cannot assess and estimate situations as well as before. They suddenly spend large sums of money irresponsibly or leave the house in shorts while it is snowing outside.

7) Their nature changes

Alzheimer’s disease can also affect the nature of the patient. An optimistic person can suddenly become very depressed or anxious, or a caring and loving mother suddenly seem to become an evil witch. This is often very difficult and sad for the loved ones of the patient.

8) Avoiding social interaction

Because people with Alzheimer’s notice that they cannot do some things properly anymore, they sometimes tend to avoid social situations for fear of doing something wrong. This kind of anxiety can cause isolation of the patient.

9) Feeling restless

Many Alzheimer’s patients have trouble sitting still. They tend to scavenge around searching for something or cleaning. This restlessness can also cause sleeping problems.

10) Vision problems

Alzheimer’s can cause information that comes in through the eyes not to be processed properly. Thus distances are difficult to estimate and there may be problems distinguishing contrasts of colours.

Memory test

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be made earlier and earlier. This gives patients and their families more time to prepare for what is coming. Are you worried about yourself or someone in your immediate environment? Do the memory test.

Sources: Alzheimers Society
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