When you get older, you expect your memory to slip up from time to time. Part of that is normal; our brains simply aren’t as agile as we get older. But sometimes, issues with your memory or a loved one’s memory are a symptom of something more serious.
Not all cases of memory loss or slower processing speed are necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s disease but sometimes they are. Dr. Evan Allen of Allen Wellness & Medical Center explains 6 of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease in aging adults.
The biggest difference between “normal” memory loss and an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is the extent to which it disturbs your daily life. If it’s just a normal case of memory loss, chances are it’s usually mild.
It’s not necessarily a problem if you have difficulty remembering someone’s name whom you just met or where you put your keys. But if you’re forgetting to pay your bills or turn off the stove, that’s a significant disruption to your daily life.
If there’s an activity that you or your loved one do on a regular basis, you should know how to do it so well that you could practically do it in your sleep. If you start having trouble doing something that you used to do regularly, that could be a sign of a problem.
If you’ve lost your keys, for example, you should usually be able to retrace your previous steps to figure out where you might have put them. By the time your memory loss is severe enough to interfere with your life, you won’t have the ability to retrace your previous steps to find out where you misplaced something.
One of the surest signs that memory loss has gotten severe is that you start making decisions that are inappropriate ways to handle a situation. When your memory is impaired, you lose the sense of foreknowledge about how to handle a challenging situation and may make the wrong call completely.
When your memory is disrupted, it takes longer to complete regular daily tasks. This may include washing the dishes, bathing, taking care of a pet, or cooking. Part of this is because you don’t necessarily remember the order in which you’re supposed to do certain activities, which makes the whole process take a lot longer.
People who are losing their memory as part of Alzheimer’s disease often have significant mood changes. They may normally be good-natured people who become irritable or even combative. If they’re not behaving like they usually would, this can be a bigger sign of trouble, especially if there’s no known cause or if it’s in combination with other symptoms.
If you or a loved one are showing signs of early Alzheimer’s disease, you should really seek a professional evaluation. Contact Dr. Evan Allen at Allen Wellness & Medical Center or request an appointment online.