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Ten Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and rea­soning skills. Old age causes the same thing. The Alzheimer’s Association’s list of ten ear­ly signs and symptoms follows below.

If you suffer from some of the following, you should contact your primary care physi­cian who can determine if further testing or referral to a specialist is needed.

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving prob­lems.
  3. Difficulty Completing familiar tasks.
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking and writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment.
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activi­ties.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers ten ways to help a family living with Alzhei­mer’s or other forms of dementia.

  1. Educate yourself about dementia.
  2. Stay in touch.
  3. Be patient.
  4. Offer a shoulder to lean on.
  5. Engage the person with dementia in conversation. See number 3.
  6. Offer to help the family with its “to-do” list.
  7. Engage family members in other activi­ties.
  8. Offer family members a break from caring for the person with dementia.
  9. Be flexible.
  10. Support research and advocacy efforts.
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