1. Memory loss
It' s normal to occasionally forget an assignment, deadline
or colleague' s name, but frequent forgetfulness or unexplainable
confusion at home or in the workplace may signal that something' s
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
Busy people get distracted from time to time. For example,
you might leave something on the stove too long or not remember
to serve part of a meal. People with Alzheimer' s might prepare
a meal and not only forget to serve it, but also forget they
3. Problems with language
Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but
a person with Alzheimer' s may forget simple words or substitute
inappropriate words, making sentences difficult to understand.
4. Disorientation to time and place
It' s normal to momentarily forget the day of the week or what
you need from the store. But people with Alzheimer' s can become
lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how
they got there or how to get back home.
5. Poor or decreased judgment
Choosing not to bring a sweater along on a chilly night is
a common mistake. A person with Alzheimer' s, however, may
dress inappropriately in more noticeable ways, wearing a bathrobe
to the store or several blouses on a hot day.
6. Problems with abstract thinking
Balancing a checkbook can be challenging for many people,
but for someone with Alzheimer' s, recognizing numbers or performing
basic calculation may be impossible.
7. Misplacing things
Everyone temporarily misplaces a wallet or keys from time
to time. A person with Alzheimer' s disease may put these and
other items in inappropriate places -- such as an iron in
the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl -- then not
recall how they got there.
8. Changes in mood or behavior
Everyone experiences a broad range of emotions ' it' s part
of being human. People with Alzheimer' s tend to exhibit more
rapid mood swings for no apparent reason.
9. Changes in personality
People' s personalities may change somewhat as they age. But
a person with Alzheimer' s can change dramatically, either
suddenly or over a period of time. Someone who is generally
easy going may become angry, suspicious or fearful.
10. Loss of initiative
It' s normal to tire of housework, business activities, or
social obligations, but most people retain or eventually regain
their interest. The person with Alzheimer' s disease may remain
disinterested and uninvolved in many or all of his usual pursuits.
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