Some change in memory is normal as we grow older, but the
symptoms of Alzheimer’s

disease are
more than simple lapses in memory. 
People with Alzheimer’s experience

difficulties in
communicating, learning, thinking and reasoning – problems severe enough

to have an
impact on an individual’s work, social activities and family life.

The Alzheimer’s
Association believes that it is critical for people with dementia and their

families to
receive information, care and support as early as possible.  To help family

members and
health care professionals recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s

disease, the
Association had developed a list of common symptoms.

Memory Loss:  One of the most common early signs of
dementia is forgetting recently learned information.  While it is normal to forget appointments,
names or telephone numbers, those with dementia will forget such things more
often and not remember them later.

Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks:  People with dementia often find it hard to
complete everyday tasks that are so familiar we usually do not think about how
to do them.  A person with Alzheimer’s
may not know the steps for preparing a meal, using a household appliance or
participating in a lifelong hobby.

Problems with Language:  Everyone has trouble finding the right word
sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer’s often forgets simple words or
substitutes unusual words, making his or her speech or writing hard to
understand.  If a person with Alzheimer’s
is unable to find his or her toothbrush, for example, the individual may ask
for “that thing for my mouth.”

Disorientation to Time and Place:  It’s normal to forget the day of the week or
where you are going.  But people with
Alzheimer’s disease can become lost on their own street.  They may forget where they are and how they
got there, and may not know how to get back home.

Poor or Decreased Judgment:  No one has perfect judgment all of the
time.  Those with Alzheimer’s may dress
without regard to the weather, wearing several shirts on a warm day or very
little clothing in cold weather.  Those
with dementia often show poor judgment about money, giving away large sums to
telemarketers or paying for home repairs or products they don’t need.

Problems with Abstract Thinking:  Balancing a checkbook is a task that can be
challenging for some.  But a person with
Alzheimer’s may forget what the numbers represent and what needs to be done
with them.

Misplacing Things:  Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or a
key.  A person with Alzheimer’s disease
may put things in unusual places like an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in
the sugar bowl.

Changes in Mood or Behavior:  Everyone can become sad or moody from time to
time.  Someone with Alzheimer’s disease
can show rapid mood swings – from calm to tears to anger – for no apparent

Changes in Personality:  Personalities ordinarily change somewhat with
age.  But a person with Alzheimer’s can
change dramatically, becoming extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or
dependent on a family member.

Loss of Initiative:  It is normal to tire of housework, business
activities or social obligations at times. 
The person with Alzheimer’s disease may become very passive, sitting in
front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to
do usual activities.

If you
recognize any of these warning signs in yourself or a loved one, the

recommends consulting a physician.  Early
diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

or other disorders
causing dementia is an important step to getting appropriate treatment,

care and
support services.

you would like more information about “Warning
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease”
call the Senior LinkAge Line® at
1-800-333-2433.  The Senior LinkAge Line®:
A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors is a free statewide service of the
Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging.  Specialists provide
one-to-one assistance with helping older adults age well and live well. 
Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm
or chat with a specialist online during these hours at www.MinnesotaHelp.info®.

“Our Mission is to identify and promote resources which enhance, empower and enrich seniors to be healthy, safe, and engaged citzens”



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