Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s in Older Adults

signs of Alzheimer’s

As we age, it can be difficult to distinguish normal forgetfulness from something more serious, like Alzheimer’s Disease. Our South Jersey memory care team is here to share some of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s in older adults, which can hopefully help you determine if your loved one needs a more professional level of care. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association there are 50 million people around the world living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, so it’s likely that you know someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. With that said, do you know what early warning signs to watch out for?

  1. Uncharacteristic changes in personality or mood. We all experience the occasional mood swing, but Alzheimer’s causes the person to feel confused, anxious, frustrated, or easily upset both at home and when outside of their comfort zone. 
  2. They withdraw from social activities. If you notice your older loved one is no longer the social butterfly they once were, it might be because they’re struggling to keep up with conversations or because they have difficulty with a group dynamic. 
  3. Their judgment changes. We know our loved ones, including their personalities, their habits, and their quirks. If you notice your senior parent making decisions that seem out of character, like making irresponsible decisions with their money, it may be a sign of something more serious. 
  4. They stop caring about personal cleanliness and grooming. While this can also be a symptom of depression, a lack of interest in personal hygiene can be a strong indicator of Alzheimer’s. 
  5. Misplacing important items. We’ve all occasionally misplaced our keys or our phones, but people with Alzheimer’s will often misplace important items and they won’t be able to retrace their steps in order to help find them. 
  6. They have difficulty with one-on-one conversations. People with Alzheimer’s may lose their train of thought mid-conversation, they may repeat themselves several times, or they may struggle to remember common words or phrases.
  7. Confusion with times and places. It’s common to miss an appointment here and there. However, if you notice your loved one is losing track of important dates, or if they forget where they are and how they got there, speak with their primary doctor as soon as possible. 
  8. They struggle to complete routine tasks. Things like making a grocery list, putting every-day items like dishes back in the correct place, and driving to frequently-visited locations may become difficult to those with Alzheimer’s.
  9. Difficulty with planning and problem-solving, including managing monthly bills and making plans to get together with family.
  10.  Asking the same questions repeatedly, even when they’ve just been given the information they’re asking for.

When is it time for professional memory care? 

As Alzheimer’s advances, the person usually becomes unable to live alone and often requires around-the-clock professional care. It can be a difficult decision to make, but if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it may be time to start exploring your options. We recommend researching specialized memory care neighborhoods like Tapestries® at The Shores in Cape May County because we have many different cutting-edge methods to handle the specific needs of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 

From on-site medical care to flexible sleep and meal schedules, Tapestries Memory Care at The Shores has been designed to give your loved one the highest quality of life possible. While also giving you the peace of mind in knowing your loved one with dementia is in a safe, secure environment that prioritizes their every need. 

For more information about United Methodist Communities at The Shores, or if you have any questions about our Tapestries Memory Care neighborhood in South Jersey, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://theshores.umcommunities.org/alzheimers-dementia-care/