While manydismiss cognitive changes in themselves or a family member as “normal aging,” this isn’t always true. “Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging,” Monica Moreno, Senior Director, Care, and Support, Alzheimer’s Association, tells , Not That! For example, with normal aging, people sometimes forget where they parked their car coming out of the store, “that happens to all of us,” she points out. “But the problem is if you get in the car and get lost coming home—that’s not normal.”
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that causes a slow decline in a person’s ability to remember, think, plan, and ultimately function, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It impacts more than 6 million Americans who are living with the disease. And by 2050, that number is projected to skyrocket to nearly 13 million. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, identifying it early is vital in treatment. Read on for the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10 Early Signs and Symptoms—and to You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Portrait of a worried mature woman having problems with her finances. One of the most critical signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially in the, is not remembering recently learned information, Moreno points out. This can be in the form of asking the same questions repeatedly or relying on memory aids.
If you start to notice changes in your ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers—including difficulty following a recipe orof your bills—it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Senior Hispanic Man who has Dementia Trying To Dress.
Is organizing a grocery list or remembering your favorite game’s rules suddenly challenging? “A person with Alzheimer’s or dementia often finds it hard to complete daily tasks,” Moreno explains.
Moody-aged man feeling unhappy.
If you suddenly are losing track of dates, seasons, and passages of time, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Some people with Alzheimer’s or dementia experience vision problems. “This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading,”Moreno. Close-up portrait of the charming old lady, covering her mouth with her hands.
If you suddenly notice trouble following or joining a conversation, it could be Alzheimer’s or dementia. Moreno explains that this could be as simple as struggling with vocabulary, having difficulty naming a familiar object, or using the wrong name, such as calling a watch a “hand-clock.”
Mature man with a bad headache at home
If you can’t remember where you put things and cannot retrace your steps to find them again, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, per Moreno.
paying with cash at the grocery store
Has your decision-making or judgment seemed to have deteriorated? This could be Alzheimer’s or dementia. “They may use poor judgment when dealing with money orless attention to grooming,” says Moreno.
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Tired senior Hispanic man sleeping on the dark blue couch, taking an afternoon nap in the living room. If you live with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may start experiencing a conversation. As a result, you might begin to withdraw from hobbies or social activities. This could be in the form of giving up on an activity or following a favorite sports team.
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Moreno also says that a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may experience mood and personality changes. “He or she can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious,” she explains.
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Doctor and a senior man wearing facemasks during coronavirus and flu outbreaks. First, don’t stress out yet. “Exhibiting one or more of these ten does not mean someone has Alzheimer’s,” Moreno points out. “These signs may signal other—even treatable—conditions.” Make sure to speak with your doctor so they can help you to determine why you are experiencing cognitive changes so you can better manage it—whatever the diagnosis may be. To learn more about Alzheimer’s and find resources, visit alz.org or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 free Helpline at 800-272-3900. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to .