Forgetfulness is something many of us will experience as we get older. It’s a normal part of aging. But when memory loss starts to interfere with daily life, it can be a sign of a more serious issue such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, a group of conditions that affect mental capability and can cause memory loss. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, one way to limit its effects is to identify it as early as possible.
Alzheimer’s usually affects people who are 65 or older, so if there’s a senior in your life, be aware of these signs and symptoms.
- Forgetting important information: It’s normal for someone to forget a date or a name but suddenly remember it later. However, pay attention if they ask for the same information repeatedly or struggle to recall important dates (like their own birthdate).
- Lack of problem-solving skills: Are they having trouble following a recipe? Problem-solving skills can deteriorate in someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks: Do they get lost when driving to a familiar location? If they have difficulty completing familiar tasks, it might be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
- Using incorrect words: Healthy people can occasionally a struggle to find the right word, but using the wrong word – particularly if they call something by the wrong name – merits further scrutiny.
- Poor hygiene. Is the person suddenly displaying odd behavior related to clean clothes, bathing, oral health or shaving? It’s not uncommon for a person with Alzheimer’s to lose interest in personal hygiene.
- Personality changes: Are they suddenly irrational, fearful or suspicious?
If a loved one in your life is experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a doctor.
And be sure to check out our infographic below for more information about Alzheimer’s disease in Kentucky.
- Follow @UK_HealthCare on Twitter for updates from the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting. Our own Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, is there discussing the latest research and innovations related to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Learn more about the UK Memory Disorders Clinic, which provides support to those with memory problems and their families.
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