Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- Increasing disorientation to time, place, and people
- Trouble finding words
- Disrupted sleeping and eating patterns
- Social withdrawal or depression
- Difficulty with spatial perception (e.g. may start having trouble figuring out how to put on certain items of clothing)
- Increased frustration
- Uncharacteristic behaviors (possibly including emotional outbursts)
- Exit-seeking behavior
Keep in mind that some of these problems may not fully emerge until later in the course of the disease (or not at all).
Signs of memory loss
Maybe someone you know, perhaps an aging parent, is constantly repeating themselves, forgetting what was said only minutes before. A sure sign of significant memory loss.
But other things may be going on at the same time. Maybe their behavior has changed. They’ve become socially withdrawn. Or they fly off the handle more than usual. Or they’re not looking after themselves like they used to, and they need help with basic activities like dressing and personal hygiene.
Taken together, these could be indications that they have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia.
Or there could be another underlying cause, one that can be treated successfully.
Check out our free ebook, Senior Living Options: A Guide for Understanding Which Level of Care is the Best Fit.
Consider other possible causes first
Suppose your aging parent has been confused lately. Yes, it could be due to undiagnosed dementia, but it also could be a urinary tract infection or an interaction between some of their medications or any number of other medical issues.
If they do have one or more of these other problems and they’re treated successfully, the confusion may clear up.
That’s why your parent should get a proper medical assessment anytime their condition changes significantly. Even if they’ve already been diagnosed with dementia, other reversible problems may be making their issues worse and should receive attention.
What if their struggles are due to dementia?
Suppose that, after your parent gets a proper medical work up, it’s revealed that dementia is the main reason they’re struggling. If that’s the case, they may need more support than they can get in their current home.
Moving to a senior living community that offers either assisted living or memory care could be a good solution.
If they’re in the early stages of dementia and still fairly independent, assisted living may be a good fit. They’ll get assistance with their personal care (including managing their medications) if they need it, enjoy restaurant-style meals, and have an opportunity to participate in regular activities and outings.
If they’re further along in the course of the disease, memory care may provide the added support they need while continuing to give them a sense of purpose and belonging. To learn more about senior living care options, check out our free ebook, Senior Living Options: A Guide for Understanding Which Level of Care is the Best Fit.