How to Know if Your Loved One Has Alzheimer’s Disease

You probably expect some age-related forgetfulness as your loved one ages. But it can be hard to tell what’s normal and what might be more serious. At Michigan Neurology Associates & PC, we understand the worry and fear this can cause. 

To facilitate a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in your loved one, our team of expert care providers created this helpful guide. With offices in Clinton Township, Utica, and St. Clair Shores, Michigan, our doctors offer custom treatment plans to help manage Alzheimer’s symptoms and help your loved one sustain the highest quality of life possible. 

Read on to learn how to know if your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and the steps you can take to help them.  

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 5.8 million Americans. In fact, experts at the Alzheimer’s Association estimate that a person develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds.  

This progressive, irreversible brain disorder affects memory and thinking. It’s caused by the degeneration of brain cells and may begin with simple forgetfulness. But as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can severely impact memory and the ability to carry out daily tasks. 

How can I tell if my loved one has Alzheimer’s disease?

The most common sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. While occasional memory lapses are normal for everyone, people with Alzheimer’s experience persistent and worsening memory function. This memory loss eventually affects their ability to work or even carry out normal activities at home. 

Signs to look for include:

In addition to memory-related issues, there are other signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the top five to look for.   

1. Struggling with decisions

One hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s is a decline in the ability to make reasonable decisions in everyday situations. For example, your loved one may choose to wear shorts in the winter or make poor choices in social settings. 

2. Changes in personality

It’s normal for seniors to prefer routine over the unexpected. However, if your loved one becomes disproportionately upset or aggressive because of small changes to their routine or unexpected interruptions, this could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Your loved one might also seem depressed or apathetic, experience mood swings, withdraw from family and friends, or lose their inhibitions.  

3. Problems concentrating

If your loved one demonstrates an increasing issue with concentrating on tasks, especially if they involve numbers or changing variables, it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. For example, your loved one may struggle to complete a recipe or keep track of their bills. 

4. Trouble with everyday tasks

If you notice your loved one struggling to carry out everyday tasks, such as driving to their usual grocery store, finishing tasks at work, or taking care of pets, it could indicate Alzheimer’s disease. This may be especially true for day-to-day tasks that involve critical thinking. 

5. Vision loss or problems

Alzheimer’s disease can affect a person’s vision, causing mistakes in perception, loss of peripheral vision, trouble perceiving colors, and a reduced ability to see motion.  

Is help available if I suspect my loved one has Alzheimer’s?

Currently, no cure exists for Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that advances in medicine provide insight into therapies that can slow down the disease’s progression. 

At Michigan Neurology Associates & PC, our medical team assesses your loved one’s symptoms and physical condition to provide a customized treatment plan to enhance their quality of life.

Therapies may include:

If you believe your loved one is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, early treatment is key. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation at Michigan Neurology Associates & PC or send us a message online today.

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