This is the fourth in a series of articles written by Frank S. P. Yacino regarding Alzheimer’s disease. He is the husband and caregiver for his wife Barbara who has been struggling with this disease for over fifteen years. (This information was gathered from hand-outs at one of our Support Group meetings.)
Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is the memory loss, especially when someone forgets recently learned information. Others include forgetting important events or dates; asking for the same information over and over; or relying on memory aids such as reminder notes around the house; or relying on family members to help with things they used to handle on their own.
What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes it’s forgetting names or appointments and remembering them later.
Challenges in planning or solving problems.
Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may also have difficulty concentrating and taking much to long to do things than they did before.
What’s a typical age-related change? Making occasional errors balancing the check book or making change for items bought.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or work.
People with Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to complete daily tasks; such as driving to a familiar location; managing a budget at home or work; or remembering the rules of their favorite past time sport.
What’s a typical age-related change? Requiring help to use the microwave or trying to use the TV remote as a telephone.
Confusion with time or location.
People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of days, months, and years. They may not understand sometime if it’s not going to happen immediately. They may even forget where they are, what they went for, or how they got to wherever they are.
What’s a typical age-related change? When a person gets confused about the hour of the day; day of the week; or the year; but may recall it at a later time.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
For some people, having vision issues could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. They could have a problem reading, judging distances, and understanding color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may also go by a mirror and it appears to them that someone else is in the room with them. They may have difficulty in understanding that they are the image in the mirror.
What’s a typical age-related change? Vision changes could be caused by cataracts.
Problem with words in speaking or writing.
Those with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining in a conversation and have no idea how to continue that conversation or they may end up repeating themselves several times. They may also struggle with vocabulary; have problems finding the right words, or call things by the wrong name (i.e. calling a knife a fork or spoon).
What’s a typical age-related change? Having trouble more frequently finding the right word or phrase.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace their steps.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may not be able to retrace their step and find what they are looking for. They may even accuse others of stealing whatever “appears” to be lost. This behavior will occur more often over time.
What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things more frequently, such as the car keys or their glasses, and not being able to recall where they are.
Decreased or poor judgment.
A person with Alzheimer’s could experience changes in their judgment or decision-making. As an example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money; possibly writing double checks to pay a bill; and being the subject of scamming telemarketers. They may also pay less attention to their hygiene, bathing, or manner in which they dress.
What’s a typical age-related change? The person will be making bad decisions more often than not.
Withdrawal from work or other social activities.
A person with Alzheimer’s may begin to exclude themselves from their hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with their favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a hobby project. They may also avoid social activities because of the changes that are happening to them.
What’s a typical age-related change? They may be weary of work, family, and social obligations.
Changes in mood and personality.
The mood and personalities of an Alzheimer’s patient can change in a moment. It’s possible for them to become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at work, home, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
What’s a typical age-related change? The person may have very specific ways of doing things and becomes upset when a routine is disrupted.
- Wednesday, 29 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Alzheimer's Series