Alzheimer's Disease

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's Disease

How Prevalent is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is an overall term used to describe various brain disorders caused by physical changes in the brain.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 564,000 individuals in Canada are currently living with dementia. This number is expected to increase to 1.4 million people by 2031. Most commonly, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease occurs after the age of 65. It is less commonly diagnosed in one’s 40s or 50s. This is called early onset Alzheimer disease.

Whether you’re experiencing possible symptoms or are concerned for your loved ones, the following list of warning signs gives you an idea of what to look out for.

1: Memory Loss

One of the most common warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss that disrupts your daily life. This can come in the form of forgetting where you put your keys or forgetting important dates and/or events in your calendar. If you notice this is starting to occur more frequently, give your doctor a call.

2: Trouble Planning And Solving Problems

Working with numbers may become difficult. You also may notice that it becomes difficult to follow a set plan or routine, even if you have been following it for a long time.

3: Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

You or your loved one may begin to experience difficulty concentrating. Daily tasks may require more critical thinking as the disease progresses. If you find yourself getting lost while driving familiar routes, it’s time to see your doctor.

4: Confusion With Time And Place

Two common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are losing track of dates or losing track of time. You may also notice that you or your loved ones are forgetting where they are, why they are there or how they got there.

5: Difficulties With Vision And Perception

You or a loved one may begin to have problems judging distance and determining contrast or colour when driving. This can be dangerous for not only you or your loved one, but for everyone on the road. However much you want to keep your independence, this warrants a trip to the doctor and then possibly to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario.

6: Speech Difficulties

You may find that you begin to have difficulty finding your words when engaging in conversation. You may lose your train of thought mid-sentence, or repeat what you’ve already said over again. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s disease find that initiating a conversation is a daunting task.

7: Misplacing Items

Lost your keys again? If you find yourself misplacing common items you use every day with no recollection of where you put them, you may want to discuss this with a medical professional.

8: Impaired Decision Making

This may manifest as what seems to be “irresponsible” financial choices, such as donating large sums of money to telemarketers or door-to-door salespeople. However, in reality, these decisions are made without fully understanding the repercussions.

You or your loved ones may also become less concerned with personal hygiene. Bathing and personal care may lessen over time, and you or your loved one may become unwilling to change clothes if you forget that you put them on yesterday.

9: Withdrawing From Work Or Social Events

As symptoms begin to appear, you may notice yourself or your loved ones feeling withdrawn from activities that were once enjoyable. You may begin to pull away from work, social activities or friends due to changes that are occurring. Rather than ignoring this change, speak to someone about it as there is help available.

10: Personality And Mood Changes

Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may begin to feel confused, suspicious, paranoid or fearful. These emotions are a common reaction to the changes that are occurring. You or your loved one may also begin to feel anxious or depressed. It is important to contact your doctor if you are noticing these changes.

How Can Freiheit Care Help?

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, call us at 613-518-8258. We have services that can help you thrive in your home while these changes are occurring. From light housekeeping, meal preparation and assistance with personal care, you never need to be alone. If you are a primary caregiver for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, we offer respite services so you can take a well earned break. We also offer RN Psychotherapy services to address the mental changes you may be experiencing as well.

Dementia Care

What To Do After An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

So I've got Alzheimers. What next?

If you've had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, we want to equip you and your loved ones.

Memory aids can help you stay organized and ensure you take all your medications. Working with an occupational therapist may help you to stay independent for longer.

Ways To Communicate

Communicating With People With Dementia

Communication is a key part of life but as we or our loved ones get dementia it can be harder to communicate effectively. The Alzheimer Society of Canada has lots of great advice on how to communicate effectively, including looking at different ways of communicating for example through music and art.

It's also important to believe that communication is still possible, even if the how changes.