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Alzheimer's Symptoms

Updated on January 26, 2012

5 things to look for when identifying Alzheimer's in a person

Alzheimer's disease is a terrible disorder that affects a person's mental state. With Dementia being the single biggest effect a person will suffer from with Alzheimer's disease.

But how do you tell if a person is showing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and not common, age related memory changes a person might show as a person grows older? Can we tell what the early signs of Alzheimer's disease are. We all forget things, peoples names, places we have been, the name of a book or magazine. But what if we, or somebody we know really are struggling with remembering simple things. Is there a way to tell between age related memory loss and Alzheimer's symptoms.

We take a look at some of the differences we must consider before we jump to the conclusion that a person is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Memory Decline Due To Age Compared to Memory Decline Due to Alzheimer's

Conversation and words

An aging person should not have difficulty holding a conversation but may have the odd difficulty finding the right word to use. When we are old we usually talk a lot and usually have an opinion on almost any subject. It's often quoted that were old fashioned in our thoughts and opinions when we give our views.

With Alzheimer's disease words are frequently forgotten, Everyday objects that we us almost daily can be forgotten. A person with early 'Alzheimers disease will often use the wrong words to describe something simple and they often repeat the same words and phrases in same conversation going over and over the same subject.

Judgements and routine

The everyday Judgments and decision making abilities of an older person decline over time but the same decisions are usually made because we are creatures of comfort. Things have their place and we tend to stick to the things we like, we don't like change. We often find as we get older that we will go to the same place on holiday or wear the same makes and design of clothes, drive the same make of car, sit in the same position if we visit our local cafe or public house. We like routine as we get older.

If we are showing signs of Alzheimer's then be forget our routine. We have trouble making choices, the simple decisions become difficult. Where shall I sit? what should I buy? where shall I go? You may also show poor judgment or behave in socially inappropriate ways when visiting places.

Forget to remember

When we get older apart from feeling slightly weaker due to physical decline we are still able to function independently and pursue normal activities, despite occasional memory lapses. Going to visit friends and family, going to the library or to the shops are well within our capabilities.

If we are showing the early signs of Alzheimer's disease then we might have difficulty performing simple tasks such as paying bills, dressing appropriately or washing up. An Alzheimer's sufferer will forget how to do things you've done many times.


Frustration and anger

We all seem be rushing nowadays even in retirement people seem to have busy lives, so its inevitable that we are going to get frustrated and upset if something doesn't work out the way we want. We are likely to get upset for a while but we usually dismiss the fault quite easily. "No good crying about spilt milk" are words that echo in my mind that my gran used to say to me whenever I messed up. If its a small matter that we made a mistake with then we barely notice the mistake, its forgot in an instant.

With Alzheimer's suffers the little things matter. Frustration and anger can come from the simplest things. Forgetting a name or place can be a huge frustration. The minds inability to remember the easy items, especially if trying to communicate the words to another person can then turn to anger. We don't prepare for Alzheimer's because non of us expect to get the disease so the confusion that Alzheimer's brings can be deeply upsetting to the sufferer.

Depression

When we get older we often see the funny side to things that when we are younger we don't. If we do get depressed about something in most cases the problems sorts itself out with time as the great healer. We may never be the same again but we tend to deal with the problem by talking it through with somebody or seeing a doctor and having medication prescribed or counselling to help deal with the root of the depression.

With Alzheimer's disease the person is often unable to communicate the problem of depression. One sign that a person may be showing early signs of Alzheimer's is if they start to look and talk as though they are depressed and become withdrawn from activities they would normally partake in. They may be a cheerful and happy person that suddenly have changes in the way they talk and they no longer seem to laugh at things they may of found funny before. They start to show a lack of interest and care in themselves, their friends and family. Frustration and an inability to remember things leads to depression in many cases, especially when it comes to the person and their family. Many sufferers believe that they are being neglected by their loved ones simply because they cannot remember them visiting or seeing their family or friends. The medication a person may be prescribed to treat the Alzheimer's condition can also lead to depression.

  • There are many other symptoms that a person with early Alzheimer's might begin to show because there is no one set of symptoms for Alzheimer's disease. A person may start showing one or many of the symptoms. It always best if you suspect a person may be showing the early signs of Alzheimer's to go and see a doctor and have a medical professional check you over.

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    • profile image

      kelleyward 

      6 years ago

      Just saw on Dr. OZ a new correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer's. Since I have type 1 diabetes this is a little scary to me. I've always thought of Alzheimer's as a kind of heart disease that occurs in the brain. thanks for the info.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 

      6 years ago

      An intersting hub. You point out subtle but important differences.

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