People find it difficult to know the difference between regular memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease and if they forget something, they tend to worry without a good reason I have been guilty of this at times because living with Alzheimer’s has made me fearful that forgetting the smallest item means that I too, am becoming ill. It’s true that one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss but it usually refers to forgetting recently learned information. Other signs include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information repeatedly and having an increasing need to rely on memory aides or family members for things they used to handle alone. Typical age-related changes? A person sometimes forgets names or appointments but, later, will remember them.
Some Alzheimer’s sufferers may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a work plan with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. Because they have a concentration problem, everything takes them much longer to do. A typical age-related change? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
An Alzheimer’s sufferer finds it difficult to complete daily tasks. He/She may have trouble finding a once familiar location, or managing the budget at work or even remembering the rules of a favorite game. A typical age-related change? A person might need help with the microwave settings or to record a television show.
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. If something is being relayed to them and it is not happening immediately, they may not understand it. They may also forget where they are or how they got there. A typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but having the ability to figure it out.
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. It may be difficult for them to read, to judge distance or to determine color or contrast, which is not a good idea when driving. What’s a typical age-related problem? Vision changes related to cataracts.
These people may have trouble following or joiningin on a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a sentence and have no idea how to continue, or, they repeat themselves. What’s a typical age-related problem? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places; like leaving a plate and a mug in the refrigerator or in a closet; may lose things and be unable to retrace their steps to find them. They might even accuse someone of stealing. What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time and having the ability to search for and find them.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease often use poor judgment when dealing with money matters. Typical age-related change? Making a bad decision once in a while.
Someone suffering from Alzheimer’s may remove himself/herself from social activities and stop spending time on hobbies that they loved. Whereas a typical age-related change can make one feel tired of work or social obligations at times.
The personality and mood of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s can change. He/She can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious and feel better at home as this is a comfort zone. A typical age-related change? Developing specific methods of doing things and becoming irritated when this routine is disrupted.