How can I tell if a loved one is experiencing the early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Imagine yourself going to visit a parent. After spending a little time catching up, you begin to notice that something just seems off. You’ve always needed to assist mom or dad when it comes to using technology, like recording a TV show, but now they are having trouble remembering how to play a simple game of cards. You know this isn’t them and it worries you to see a loved one engage in such odd behavior.

If a parent or relative is constantly forgetting important dates or are having difficulty completing usual daily tasks, it may be time to start thinking about Alzheimer’s disease.  

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million Americans are living with the degenerative disease, and the numbers are steadily increasing each year. While studies have shown that the majority of Americans that developAlzheimer’s are older than the age of 65, early onset symptoms have been found in men and women in their 50s and even 40s.

Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, however, more recent estimates indicate that the progressive disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older Americans.

While not everyone displaying the following behaviors will be suffering with Alzheimer’s, this list can act as as a guide in helping you determine whether or not to start a conversation about this all too common disorder with your loved one.

Signs of Alzheimer's

old man forgetting
  • Memory Loss

    The most common sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss.  This includes forgetting recently learned information or important dates or events

  • Issues with Problem Solving

    Some people may experience noticeable changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan.

  • New Problems with Writing and Speaking

    People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following along with a conversation. They may pause in the middle of a conversation or experience difficulty finding the right words to say.

  • Poor Decision Making

    People with Alzheimer’s may encounter changes in judgment or decision-making. This includes mishandling money or forgetting to properly groom themselves.

  • Withdrawn form Usual Activities

    A person with Alzheimer’s may start to distance themselves from hobbies, friends/family, social engagements or sports.

  • Forgetting Time, Season or Dates

    People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.

  • Trouble Performing Daily Tasks

    Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s may have trouble driving to supermarket, managing bills or remembering a recipe that they have made for years.

If your friend or family member is showing the signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s, the best thing you can do is talk to him or her. Early treatment, with starts with a conversation with your doctor, is crucial for slowing the progression of  this truly devastating disease. 

About Lehigh Center

The Lehigh Center is the largest independently run research facility in the Lehigh Valley. Our qualified physicians conduct clinical trials  to evaluate investigational treatments for specific diseases, including Alzheimer’s. If you are interested in leaning more about our current studies, please click the link below.