One of the largest misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia is that these conditions are a normal part of the aging process. While older adults may have a slight decline in cognitive function or some lapses in memory, dementia is not something that all elderly individuals will face. With dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to recognize the signs early on, because damage done by this progressive disease cannot be reversed. Below you will get a look at some of the early indicators of Alzheimer’s that can help an elderly loved one receive care that may slow the progression of the disease.
Disruptive memory loss
A memory slip here and there is nothing to be alarmed about, but significant memory loss that disrupts daily life could be a serious concern. For example, if an elderly relative asks the same questions over and over or forgets information that was recently learned, there could be dementia present.
Any new communication difficulties such as forgotten words or trouble keeping up with a conversation can indicate dementia. You may not be able to separate the cause of these issues from problems like hearing loss, but any condition causing this type of communication difficultly should be addressed by a doctor.
Some adults in early stages of Alzheimer’s may begin to pay less attention to their personal appearance or have trouble managing money. You should keep an eye out for these signs and consider monitoring bank activity to make sure that loved ones are not susceptible to scams targeted at elderly adults.
Social isolation and loss of interest
A lack of social engagement can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s, which will only continue to cause social withdrawal. Maintaining an active social life is a great way for adults to keep their minds engaged and sharp, so you may need to help elderly relatives find ways to interact with peers and spend more time with family.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a leader in neurological care in the Bay Area, and we can help you find the right care for a loved one showing the signs of dementia. Call us at (408) 259-4000 or visit our website to connect with a physician who can manage your care.