As your parents get older, they may need more care than before. Your loved one may struggle to remember things or find it difficult to accomplish tasks that were once easy. While some of these are normal signs of aging, there are also some symptoms and behaviors that you shouldn't ignore. Make sure that you take note of these potential signs of Alzheimer's.
Sign #1: Struggles to Remember the Date
Anyone can lose track of the calendar date or even the day of the week it is from time to time. If your loved one is struggling to remember what month they're in or to keep track of the year (long past that confusing point in January where it's natural to struggle a bit), it could be more serious.
Sign #2: Missing Important Commitments
Your parent has always made it to all the important events they were supposed to be at...until now. If your senior loved one is suddenly struggling to keep up with important commitments, from remembering birthdays and parties to making it to appointments and other events, you should take note.
Sign #3: Finances are Becoming a Problem
Your parents have always managed their finances on their own, but suddenly, they're struggling. Bills aren't getting paid on time, and they may be less frugal than they once were--or even spending indiscriminately, where once, they would have been far more practical. If you start to notice out-of-character financial behavior, it's important to take note as early as possible so that you'll be able to correct it if needed.
Sign #4: Repeating Themselves Often
Do you find yourself having circular conversations with your loved one, in which they tell you the same thing or repeat the same stories over and over again? It's normal for your parents to tell you something that they're excited about more than once, especially if you don't speak often and they're trying to catch up. If, on the other hand, they're starting to tell the same story for the third time in the course of a couple of hours, it could be a sign that something is up.
Sign #5: Trouble with Visual/Spatial Relationships
Judging distance has become a serious problem; or perhaps your parent is suddenly struggling to read or participate in other activities that involve observing visual/spatial relationships. If you notice this has become an ongoing problem, it could be a vision issue, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Make sure that your loved one mentions it to the doctor at their next visit.
Sign #6: Struggling with Common Vocabulary
Sometimes, you just can't call the word you want to mind. Unfortunately, for people with Alzheimer's, that often becomes a common, everyday occurrence. If you've noticed that your loved one is struggling with common vocabulary or using odd terms to describe familiar objects, take note: it could be a symptom of something serious.
Sign #7: Decreased Interest in Typical Activities
Your loved one has hobbies and interests that have always filled their days. Suddenly, however, you're noticing that they aren't engaging in any of them. If you've noticed that your loved one no longer participates in activities that were once among their favorites, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
If you're beginning to observe signs in a loved one that something isn't quite right, start taking notes. Ideally, you want to be able to provide specific, concrete examples when you talk to them or their doctor about the behaviors and symptoms you've observed. Don't let the behaviors go on for too long before you seek medical counsel. In many cases, the symptoms of Alzheimer's can be managed more effectively if treatment begins early.