Learn five early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and explore the steps to take to plan for care and the future of your loved one and their assets.

5 Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

There are five early signs of Alzheimer’s disease that you can watch for to get a warning that difficulties may be on the horizon. These range from the expected memory loss to some that may be surprising. Watch for the following:

  1. Disruptive memory loss: “Disruptive” is the operative term. Asking for information repeatedly, forgetting things they just learned, losing track of thoughts, or increased need to count on family to remember things. There may be difficulty carrying on a conversation or expressing coherent thoughts, either verbally or in writing.
  2. Problem-Solving and Planning Challenges: Difficulty working with numbers, applying logic, following plans, or accomplishing basic daily tasks. If things like concentration and paying monthly bills become problematic, it can be a flag. Also so if they have trouble reading, differentiating colors, judging distance, and navigating a space.
  3. Losing Track of Time and Possessions: Patients might have problems with dates, time passage, thinking about the future (even in the immediate), forget how they got where they are, or even where they are at all, and tend to lose things. They might even accuse others of theft.
  4. Lack of Judgment and Hygiene: Many Alzheimer’s patients experience issues with decision making and judgment, as well as trouble taking care of themselves with basic grooming.
  5. Mood and Personality Shifts: Watch for your loved one to become unusually suspicious, depressed, aggressive, anxious, fearful, confused or easily upset any time they’re out of their comfort zone. They might be depressed, withdrawn and defensive. They avoid social situations due to embarrassment about their condition.

Taking the Right Steps

If you notice your loved one exhibiting these signs it’s vital to take the right steps.

  • First, get them to a doctor. Proper diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.
  • Are their healthcare and financial decisions in place? Make sure your loved one has both financial and medical power of attorneys set up, as well as a living will.
  • Have caregiver decisions been made? Talk with your family about who will provide for your loved one’s needs as the disease progresses, and establish caregiver contracts.
  • Are there living arrangements in place?
  • Develop hardcore routines. Structure will be essential moving forward.
  • Be present and communicate. Be clear, avoid slang, and don’t patronize. Remind them when they need to be reminded, but don’t ask them if they remember or tell them to try to remember.
  • Remember, as scared and frustrated as you are, they are doubly so.

Seeking Legal Help

You may encounter a range of legal and practical problems that you don’t know how to approach. For help with these, call on the services of a qualified Ohio elder law attorney like those at Stano Law. If you’re facing an uncertain future due to signs of Alzheimer’s, get in touch for more information on how we can help today.