Are you aware of the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease?

Lack of understanding of dementia is a lack of awareness of early signs and symptoms

A consequence of the lack of understanding of dementia is a lack of awareness of the early signs and symptoms, and how to distinguish these from memory loss we experience as we get older.

The ten (10) signs of Alzheimer’s disease?

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life

Daughter arrives at Mother’s house to take her to doctor’s appointment in Port of Spain. Finds the mother watching TV and not ready. Daughter is surprised and asks the mother why she is not ready. Mother replies ready for what.  Daughter considers this to be worrisome as her Mother has always remembered appointments and other important events in the family.

Memory lost in particular for dates, events and appointments.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems

Son and daughter in law visit his father. They look around and notice several unopened bills from TSTT and T&TEC. Upon opening them they realize they are all overdue. The son asks his father about them. He says I just have not had time to open them.

Difficulty in planning managing monthly bills and taking time to do things like they used to do.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure

Grandson and grandmother are playing the card game “Go Fish”. The cards are dealt and the grandson lays down his pairs. Grannie lays down cards, which do not match. The grandson starts to object. His mother over hears him and says it is OK dear go play somewhere else.  Mother is worried since this is Grannie’s favorite card game

Difficulty in going to a familiar place, managing a budget or remembering the rules of favorite game

4. Confusion with time or place

A daughter gets a call from her father asking her to assist him He is saying that her mother is upset because she is accusing him on not wanting to take her to her favorite event Dimanche Gras. He says he has tried to explain that it is July but she does not want to believe him.

Difficulties in keeping track of dates, seasons, passage of time and even how they ended up in a certain place.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

Man is driving with his wife. While entering the Churchill Roosevelt Highway he pulls out in front of a car and nearly causes an accident.  His wife is alarmed and comments that was real close. The man states that car was miles away from him.

Difficulties in reading, judging distances and determining color or contrast.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing

Father is in the car with his son they pull into a NP gas station. The father says are you going to put juice into your car?  The sons thinks: this is odd that his father is calling gasoline juice.

Difficulties in completing a conversation, may repeat themselves or calling things by the wrong name.

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

71 yr old married housewife

Living with husband and daughter

Accuses husband and daughter of stealing her money (prodromal paranoid symptoms)

Memory impairment recent and remote

Hides money and ‘jewels’ (jewellry)

Recently started telling visitors that the family is starving her (forgets that she has eaten)

Difficulties in remembering where they have placed things, accusing others of stealing

8. Decreased or poor judgment

As a devote church going lady she informs her family that she is making a 300 000TTD donation to her church to purchase a new organ.

Difficulties in handling money becomes over generous also can loose interest in grooming and hygiene

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities

As a father son activity they always attended cricket matches at the Oval. The son arrives to collect his father so they can attend the highly anticipated two match Test series between the Windies and India.  The son is troubled when the father informs him he was not aware of the match nor is he interested in attending.

Difficulties in keeping up favorite sports and in social  activities  Maybe avoiding social interactions because they realize that they are experiencing changes.

10. Changes in mood and personality

A group of office workers have become concerned about one of their co-workers. It seems that anything that they say to her is upsetting. She snaps at them for a yes or a no. Moreover she seems to be confused and anxious about the daily office routines. They have even stated that she has accused some of them of putting sugar in her coffee when they know she suffers from diabetes.

Difficulties in interacting with friends, family co-workers since personalities and mood change in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or a person you know are displaying these signs please seek the medical advice.