Watching a loved one decline into the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating. This disease claims memories, but it also robs people of their independence. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in this country; it’s also the only cause of death that can’t be prevented or cured, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The signs of this debilitating disease often come on slowly, so you may not even notice them at first. However, as the symptoms progress, you can better track and understand what is going on. Here are five potential signs:
1. Difficulty completing tasks
Those with Alzheimer’s often suddenly start to find difficulty with everyday tasks that they once managed with ease. Things like balancing their checkbooks, remembering the rules of a board game, or recalling the ingredients to a favorite recipe they’ve been making for years become challenging.
2. Driving becomes more challenging
As visual and motor skills decline, people with Alzheimer’s often find it harder to judge distance while driving a car, reading and interpreting signs on the road, and determining the contrast or color of their surroundings. These problems can all lead to a dangerous driving situation — not just for the person in question, but for other people on the road as well.
3. Disruptive memory loss
Of course, the most common characteristic of this disease is the inability to recall memories, whether of people, tasks, places or events. Alzheimer’s sufferers often forget appointments, important events or dates on the calendar, and other information that they once recalled with ease. As such, they have to use notes, reminders and family members to help them recall these important facts.
4. Difficulty following conversations
Keeping up with the flow of a conversation, which may seem like second nature to us, can often become very confusing for people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Sometimes, they may have trouble jumping into an ongoing conversation; other times, they may be able to start up a conversation but lose their train of thought halfway through. They may have to repeat themselves, and often end up calling items or people by the wrong name after struggling to find the words they need.
5. Withdrawal from normal social situations
People with Alzheimer’s may not understand completely what is happening to them but they certainly notice it can be awkward in social situations when they struggle to fit in. This decrease in self-confidence may lead to withdrawal in certain social situations, such as family gatherings, parties, holidays or work events. Their frustration over their inability to complete simple tasks may also lead to them abandoning their favorite hobbies.
Living with Alzheimer’s can be difficult, and being the loved one of someone suffering from the disease can be just as hard. One proactive thing you can do is seek out a trusted memory care center to help the loved ones in your life who are battling with memory impairing ailments.
If you have a loved one who shows some of the signs of Alzheimer’s or other memory-impairing ailments, give them the opportunity to thrive with help from the caring staff of Concordia’s Memory Care or Adult Day Services. For years, Concordia has helped to provide safe and secure environments for seniors who struggle with memory loss. Give your loved ones the opportunity to flourish and contact Concordia today.
There is always a LOT happening at Concordia! Would you like to stay up-to-date with our news and events? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.