Have you ever walked into a room and suddenly forgot the reason why you went in there? Do you have trouble remembering where you parked your car in a crowded parking lot? The likely answer is “yes” and we have all been there! When memory loss begins to disrupt your daily life, however, a bigger issue may be at play. Alzheimer’s is a type of brain disease that negatively affects memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Sadly, research tells us that an estimated 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s in 2018. Early detection is key to help relieve symptoms and allow you time to prepare for long-term care costs and future medical care, which is why we want to share with you five warning signs of Alzheimer’s to look out for.
- Significant memory loss
One of the first signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss that is not simply age-related. The memory loss is so significant that it affects daily life. Examples of this include forgetting important dates and commitments, and repeatedly asking for the same information. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s also targets concentration. If you or a loved one begin to find it particularly challenging to create and stick to a plan and solve simple daily problems that arise, it is important to evaluate the frequency and extent to which this is occurring.
- Inability to complete familiar tasks
Sometimes, people with Alzheimer’s find it difficult to complete daily and familiar tasks. Things like remembering driving directions to a common location, being unable to follow a familiar recipe, or experiencing difficulty following instructions may be warning signs. Also, take note if your loved one is withdrawing from hobbies and other social activities.
- Confusion about time and place
As we get older, it is common to forget the date for a few hours. If you or a loved one, however, are increasingly unable to remember the date, time, season, and even where you are or how you got there, this suggests a bigger problem. Another common symptom of a person with Alzheimer’s is misplacing objects or putting them in strange places. This is a symptom that tends to occur more frequently over time.
- Difficulty speaking and writing
For some people, experiencing difficulty in speaking and writing skills can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may stop mid-sentence, be unable to follow along in a conversation, or may begin calling objects by the wrong name. These are all important signs to look out for.
- Noticeable changes in personality
People with Alzheimer’s may experience an increase in poor judgment and decision-making skills. Common signs include neglecting their appearance or giving large amounts of money away. If this is something you notice in a loved one, we encourage you to discuss your planning options with a Florida Elder Law attorney to help protect your loved one’s belongings. The personalities of someone with Alzheimer’s may also change. You may notice an unusual increase in irritability, confusion, and frustration.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, do not wait to schedule an appointment with your physician. It is equally as important to discuss your long-term care needs with an experienced Florida Elder Law attorney to help prepare for increased costs. If you have any questions or are ready to begin long-term care planning, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.