The many changes that come along with growing older can seem never-ending, and the seniors in our lives will often begin to show changes in interests, behaviours, health, and many other elements of their lives.
One of the main challenges that we face as loved-ones or caregivers of seniors lies in trying to differentiate between the changes that are normal and expected aspects of the general aging process, and which ones are deserving of a little more worry, concern, or attention. The fact that information and research related to Alzheimer’s disease is more widespread and accessible than ever before means that better opportunities exist to detect and identify symptoms that may be indicative of Alzheimer’s. This also creates better opportunities for seniors in Edmonton, along with their caregivers, to be proactive about tackling those concerns by consulting with healthcare professionals as early and promptly as possible.
Early Indicators of Alzheimer’s
Keeping up an awareness of changes that take place in the way seniors behave can help in the process of detecting and acknowledging possible concerns, and seeking out support for early identification and diagnosis:
- Visual-Spatial Challenges: More trouble reading, judging spaces and distances, and seeing or identifying colours.
- Trouble with Planning and Problem-Solving: Challenges with problem-solving, planning, or dealing with challenges that require critical thinking, as well as differences in ability to concentrate.
- Social Withdrawal: Decrease in time spent with others, withdrawing socially and isolating oneself.
- Poor or Weakened Sense of Judgement: Poor judgement, trouble with decision-making, and difficulty prioritizing.
- Mood and Personality Changes: Increased frequency of negative emotions and moods such as stress, anxiety, confusion, sadness, anger, and frustration.
- Memory Loss that Interferes with Daily Life: Inability to retain information, consistently asking for the same information to be repeated, or becoming dependent on other people or memory aids for things that were once easy to manage alone.
- Difficulty Managing and Completing Normal Tasks: Greater trouble managing typical aspects of daily life at home, work, or during activities.
- Decreased Involvement with Activities: Decreased engagement in hobbies, groups, projects, and events.
- Conversational Challenges: Difficulty in the context of conversations, such as forgetting thoughts mid-sentence, repetition of the same phrases, or inability to recall the proper word for something.
- Constantly Misplacing Things and Inability to Retrace Steps: Putting things in nonsensical or unusual places, misplacing things frequently and being unable to backtrack to remember where they might be.
- Confusion Regarding Place or Time: Routinely losing track of dates and being unaware of the passing of time. Confusion related to arriving at, or being in, a location.
If a senior you care about starts to demonstrate patterns of behaviour that are in line with those previously listed, and you begin to feel worried about their health and wellbeing, make arrangements for an appointment with a doctor in Edmonton. Acting as early as you can and addressing issues that are causing concern can create a better opportunity for early detection and diagnosis, or can allow for the ruling out of Alzheimer’s as the cause of these worries so that further tests and possibilities can be explored.