Elderly woman with younger womanEach person is unique and may experience symptoms differently, but common warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can include:

1. Memory loss that affects daily life

Changes in short-term memory that disrupt routine activities or job skills; forgetting important dates or events; repeatedly asking the same questions; relying on memory aids or other people to remember things.

2. Difficulty completing familiar tasks

Having problems with routine tasks at home, work or during recreational activities; examples could include difficulty with cooking, driving, using a cell phone or shopping.

3. Challenges with problem-solving or planning

Having trouble working through processes they have done consistently, for a long time; examples could include paying bills or cooking recipes they have used for years.

4. New problems with vocabulary when speaking or writing

Having trouble following or joining a conversation, or struggling to find the right word when trying to name a familiar object.

5. Confusion or disorientation to time and place

Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time; forgetting where they are located at a given time, or how they got there.

6. Withdrawal from normal activities

Not wanting to participate in normal work, family or social activities; examples could include avoiding going to church, not being able to follow football games, movies or keep up with what is happening.

7. Personality or mood changes

Becoming increasingly agitated, restless, anxious, fearful or suspicious in normal situations.

8. Misplacing common items and becoming unable to retrace steps

Losing track of things like car keys; accidentally placing items in odd places and not being able to retrace steps to remember where they left the items; sometimes people accuse others of stealing the misplaced items.

9. Diminished or poor judgment

Demonstrating decreased reasoning abilities; examples could include mismanaging finances, becoming the victim of a scam, neglecting personal care and cleanliness, or having trouble caring for a pet.

10. Difficulty with physical and spatial relations

Struggling to maintain balance or judge physical distances, including difficulty reading, tripping, dropping or spilling things.

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. When memory loss or difficulty performing routine tasks begins to disrupt daily life, it is time to see a physician.

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