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How to Spot Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

In 2017, it was estimated that 5.5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease, with 5.3 million being 65 or older—it is now the 6th leading cause of death in the nation.1 People and providers of in-home care services often associate it with memory loss. Indeed, this and other early symptoms are commonly attributed to old age, but senior personal care professionals and home caregivers can look out for other signs when caring for seniors, such as:

  • Forgetfulness: Forgetting recently acquired information, dates or events, or names. Heavy reliance on notes and smartphone reminders, and asking the same questions over and over are reasons to suspect home health agencies should be contacted.

If the issue is age-related, the person should remember a name or appointment later. Some other Alzheimer’s/memory related signs (indicating a possible need for in-home memory care from caregiver agencies) include:

  • Difficulty with planning or problem-solving (an Alzheimer’s caregiver may notice a client’s trouble working with numbers, recipes, or monthly bills).
  • Challenges with completing daily tasks, such as managing a budget or driving to familiar places.
  • Losing track of dates, seasons, and the general passage of time, or of how one got somewhere.
  • Misplacing items and an inability to retrace one’s steps may mean live-in care may benefit them.
  • Trouble speaking or writing words, joining a conversation, or finding the right words. The person may repeat themselves often, leaving others to consider calling an in-home care company.
  • Visual challenges: Vision problems can be issues warranting senior help. They can originate from within the brain, causing difficulties with reading, driving, seeing color contrasts, or judging distance.
  • Changes in judgment: Decreasing or poor judgment affects decision making; signs include giving away large amounts of money or poor personal grooming without in-home personal care.
  • Withdrawal: A person may seemingly lose interest in work-related activities, socializing, sports, or hobbies. They might avoid situations due to recent changes, and a home care professional may be needed.
  • Personality/mood changes: In-home adult care may be considered when one is frequently confused, depressed, suspicious, or fearful; they may be out of sorts whenever not in their comfort zone or with the prospects of home health care. Some are more accepting of in-home care than others, but many are glad someone’s there to help.

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Seeing one or more of these signs isn’t proof a loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs full-service home care. A caregiver manager or doctor can tell if it’s something else such as depression, a reaction to medication, or a vitamin deficiency. Many caregiver programs assess a person’s ability to function, but in-home care management and in-home care assistance can address many problems.

For more information on senior care assistance, live-in caregivers, elder home care for clients with Alzheimer’s, and our general caregiver services and in-home health care options, call Home Care Assistance San Antonio today at 210-996-2733. Home care services with background-checked and trained elder caregivers are available. On-call home care and senior assistance can be provided part- or full-time.

Source

  1. https://www.alz.org/facts/