In order to help you know what warning signs to look for, the Alzheimer's Association has developed a checklist of common symptoms. If your loved one exhibits several of these signs, this individual may have some form of dementia. However additional testing will be required to make a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
- Recent memory loss that affects job skills. May forget things more often and not remember them later such as their bosses name and what they do.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks. May continue to perform common tasks, like preparing a meal - but forget to serve it and forget it was even made.
- Problems with language. May forget words and substitute inappropriate words, making his or her sentences incomprehensible.
- Disorientation of time and place. Can become lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get back.
- Poor or decreased judgement. Can forget entirely his or her responsibilities, such as caring for a child. May also dress inappropriately, wearing several shirts or blouses.
- Problems with abstract thinking. May not only have difficulty with tasks like balancing a checkbook - but also may forget what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.
- Misplacing things. May put things in inappropriate places, like an iron in the freezer, or a wrist watch in a sugar bowl.
- Changes in mood or behavior. May exhibit rapid mood swings - from calm to tears to anger - for no apparent reason.
- Changes in personality. Personality may change drastically, to include extreme confusion, suspicion or fearfulness.
- Loss of iniative. May become very passive and require cues and prompting to become involved in daily activities.