Alzheimer’s Disease is an illness which can develop unnoticed by family members for quite a while. Although it is progressive, the early signs can be hard to notice. Initially there may be slight lapses of memory and altered mood, thereafter more obvious symptoms may develop.
Early symptoms can include the following:
- Memory: Forgetting the names of objects or people. Forgetting recent activities or events, or where things are kept.
- Tasks: Finding basic tasks such as brushing teeth, shaving, dressing or making a simple meal difficult.
- Language: Forgetting phrases or using the wrong words in sentences.
- Dessing: Putting on clothes in the incorrect order or incorrectly
- Thinking: Difficulty recalling the alphabet or having problems with basic numbers.
- Misplacing: Putting objects in the wrong places.
- Apathy: Needing to be encouraged to do easy tasks or lacking interest in all interests or hobbies
- Becoming disoriented: Unsure of date, month, where they are or how to get home.
- Mood swings: Becoming suspicious or reduction in emotion. Losing their temper for no obvious reason.
- Movements: Pacing restlessly or unsteadily.
It may be the person themselves that first notices they have a problem. Despite this, it is quite common for them to be in denial and pretending that the problems they are encountering are trivial. Reluctance on the part of a person with memory problems is common and understandable. However, it is important that if some of these symptoms are observed, an appointment should be made with the GP as soon as possible.