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10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

  1. Changes in personality – Too quiet or loud at family gatherings; more suspicious, fearful, or loss of inhibitions; different than a few years ago.

    What’s Normal? Peoples personality do change slowly with age somewhat.
  2. Problems with language – Giving vague answers to questions; saying the wrong word for an item; using a description for something (like instead of a watch saying “the thing that tells time”); having more word-finding problems than last few years.

    What’s Normal? Occasionally having trouble finding the right word.
  3. Memory Loss – Not recognizing a relative; unable to recall a recent event; forgetting a conversation in a short period; memory is worse than a few years ago.

    What’s Normal? Forgetting a name or appointment once & a while.
  4. Changes in mood or behavior – Gets mad because you are asking too many questions; rapid mood swings for no apparent reason; becoming frustrated with self or others for recognized changes; refusing invitations because it disrupts their routine; a change in past few years.

    What’s Normal? Feeling sad or moody on occasion.
  5. Difficulty performing familiar tasks – Can’t make coffee or shave themselves; personal appearance worsening; things they were able to do a few years ago.

    What’s Normal? Sometimes forgetting why you entered a room or trouble with the microwave functions.
  6. Disoriented to time and place – Getting lost in own neighborhood; not knowing how to get back home from a familiar place; confusing day and night, they might mention trouble sleeping.

    What’s Normal? Forgetting what day it is now and again.
  7. Misplacing things – Showing much anxiety when misplacing something; unable to backtrack to find missing item; putting things in unusual places like a dirty dish in the freezer.

    What’s Normal? Misplacing your keys or wallet temporarily.
  8. Poor or decreased judgment - Giving away large sums of money to telemarketers; not paying bills; dressing inappropriately; a change in last few years.

    What’s Normal? Making a questionable decision from time to time.
  9. Problems with abstract thinking – Asking you to take over the checkbook and bills forgetting what numbers are for; unable to count change.

    What’s Normal? Finding it challenging to balance a checkbook.
  10. Loss of initiative – Stops doing housework, you visit and are surprised by the state of things; becoming passive, watching TV all day, sleeping too much, a change over the past few years

    What’s Normal? Occasionally wanting to be alone or having a lazy day.

Caren Rische
Dementia Program Director
Reflections Memory Care at McHenry
Derived from Alz. Assoc.

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