Learn The True Signs of Alzheimer's Disease
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline that disrupts daily life, it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Take a moment to review the list of symptoms and warning signs below. If any of them apply to you or a loved one, you should schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider to discuss and get a referral.
Signs to Look Out For:
- Memory loss. Occasional forgetfulness, like not remembering someone’s name, can be a normal part of life. But for a person living with dementia, memory loss can be frequent and have a big impact on their ability to function in daily life.
- Challenges performing common tasks. It’s normal to get lost every now and then while driving. A person living with dementia might get lost frequently while driving in familiar areas, or have difficulty with other familiar tasks.
- Confusion of place and time. It’s normal to feel lost occasionally. People living with Alzheimer’s may regularly find themselves disoriented to time, place, and their environment—such as not being sure where they are.
- Problems with words and language. We’ve all had the experience of trying to find the right word in a conversation. However, a person living with dementia might find it tough to follow or initiate conversations entirely.
- Poor judgment. Though we all make bad decisions once in a while, a person with dementia might frequently make decisions that negatively impact their wellbeing. They might also pay less attention to their own basic needs.
- Problems with abstract thinking. It’s normal to have difficulty managing mathematical chores like balancing a budget. Someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia might forget what numbers are, or how to add and subtract.
- Forgetting where they left things. Everyone misplaces things sometimes. A person living with dementia might repeatedly put things in places where they do not belong, like putting their glasses in the refrigerator, or their keys in the medicine cabinet.
- Changes in personality. Anyone can feel moody every now and then. A person with dementia might have sudden mood changes, such as from relaxed to angry. They might also feel uncomfortable in social situations.
- Loss of initiative. We’ve all felt unmotivated to do tasks like household chores or work. A person living with dementia may even stop doing things they once enjoyed.
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Having vision problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance, trouble reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast.
I recognize one or more of these symptoms. What’s next?
First, don’t self-diagnose. Alzheimer’s disease isn’t the only cause of memory loss—there are multiple types of dementia, as well as other diseases which can cause some of these symptoms. The only way to get the appropriate treatment and support needed is through an accurate diagnosis. Make an appointment to talk to your Primary Care Provider about your symptoms as soon as possible.
You can ask your PCP if a referral to Georgia Memory Net for diagnosis and connection to community support is right for you or your loved one. Georgia Memory Net provides accelerated and accurate diagnoses for Alzheimer’s and related dementias at our Memory Assessment Clinics all around the state, as well as via telemedicine.
Learn more about getting a referral to GMN at GaMemoryNet.org/patient/patient-referrals/
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