6 Signs Your Aging Loved One May Have Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder that can impact cognitive abilities and physical health. Even though there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have come up with a wide variety of treatments that can minimize the symptoms and boost quality of life. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s that seniors and their families should keep an eye out for.

1. Difficulty Holding Conversations

In the earliest stages of this disorder, seniors might find it difficult to hold conversations that last more than a few minutes. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s also have difficulty finding the right word or misuse relatively common words. There isn’t an effective treatment for this symptom, but some experts believe ongoing socialization can increase verbal skills. If your loved one doesn’t have many family members in the area, you might want to contact a local senior center to see if they host game nights or group meals.

2. Getting Lost in Familiar Locations

Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently, but many people who have this disease tend to have difficulty with directions. Your loved one might get lost in the grocery store or suddenly forget how to get home. As soon as you notice this symptom, you must immediately speak with your loved one about surrendering his or her driver’s license. You should also make sure your loved one has a family member or caregiver nearby whenever he or she goes out in public.

If your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, help is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Richmond families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs.

3. Memory Loss

The most common sign of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss, and almost all seniors who have this disorder will lose some of their memories. Minor memory issues are a perfectly natural part of the aging process, but they shouldn’t impact quality of life. If your loved one forgets the names of family members or major events from the past, schedule an appointment with a neurologist. An experienced neurologist can help you come up with a long-term plan for preserving as many of your loved one’s memories as possible.

4. Irritability

In addition to impacting cognitive abilities, this disorder can also affect emotional wellbeing. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s seem to be on edge at all times, which may be the result of their confusion. Others may lash out or even become physically aggressive in certain situations, and those issues must be addressed immediately. One of the most effective ways to combat aggression in seniors with Alzheimer’s is to immediately divert their attention by asking questions or pointing something out. 

A trained professional caregiver can be a great help when it comes to managing behaviors such as agitation, confusion, and frustration. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Richmond senior home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

5. Losing Items

Everyone loses their keys or credit cards at least a few times over the years, but those occurrences should be somewhat rare. In the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s, some seniors constantly lose important possessions. As a caregiver, you might need to hold on to your loved one’s keys, credit cards, and essential documents. If he or she is adamant about keeping those items, make copies for yourself.

6. Confusion about Times and Dates

Some specialists believe Alzheimer’s can damage the area of the brain responsible for sensing the passage of time. A senior with Alzheimer’s might forget which month it is or even what the current year is, which can make everyday tasks very difficult to manage. To combat this symptom, you might want to fill your loved one’s home with clocks and calendars that are easy to read. There will most likely come a time when you need to take over his or her finances as well.

Compassionate professional care is available for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Richmond Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call Home Care Assistance at Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151 to learn more about our flexible and customizable in-home Alzheimer’s care plans.