Loving somebody with Alzheimer’s disease can feel like a lonely road. But know you’re not alone.
More than one in nine American senior citizens live with this devastating condition. Many more people watch as it progressively impairs the mind of somebody they know.
If you suspect the onset of this disease in a loved one, early intervention will help keep them safe and potentially slow down the progression of this devastating disease.
Please read on to learn seven signs of Alzheimer’s progression and when to seek memory care.
Everybody will experience a little brain fuzz and forget something now and again. With age, forgetfulness tends to increase a little.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this symptom may seem like normal aging. But, pay attention if your loved one seems noticeably forgetful.
Do not laugh off daily habits of forgetting things. Ask their doctor if they should undergo screening.
Do not feel completely helpless as you watch your loved one develop one of the most devastating dementia symptoms. Even if you do not know whether or not you see the onset of this disease, you can help.
Research shows that exercise may help slow the onset of dementia. Take walks and join a gentle yoga class with your loved one. Even if it is only normal forgetfulness, this will keep their body strong and healthy.
Brain stimulating activities also delay dementia progression. Craft memory books and play games like eye spy to keep exercising their memory center.
Social activities also keep the brain sharp. Senior living communities keep seniors closely connected with their peers.
Does your loved one seem confused about simple things? By affecting cognition, this disease can cause people to not know where or when they are.
It may begin by getting lost going to familiar places in the beginning. Eventually, they may simply act confused out of nowhere, even in their own home.
This can feel very scary. Tell them their whereabouts, even if they keep asking, and reassure them that they are safe with you.
3. Trouble With Typical Tasks
With age, everyday things gradually feel a little more difficult than they used to. The body tires out quicker and loses some strength.
But, unless a physical disability prevents them, a healthy senior citizen should be able to still complete most age-appropriate tasks. If your loved one starts struggling with grocery shopping, cleaning, and other family simple activities, keep a close eye on them for other signs of disease progression.
Changes in different areas of the brain can affect motor function to information processing. These struggles can put them at risk when doing things like driving or cooking.
4. Lack of Concentration
Our ability to concentrate allows us to direct mental energy towards the task at hand. Losing focus makes people seem inattentive and sometimes spastic as they move from one thing to the next.
A lack of concentration can also make your loved one seem suddenly spacey. While we all experience appearing this way from time to time, it should not become a normal part of a person’s behavior.
If your loved one acts inattentive, spaced out, or all over the place often, ask if something bothers them. Dealing with hardship or feeling overwhelmed from too much on your plate can cause this as well. But, if this behavior comes out of the blue, ask the doctor to check for Alzheimer’s progression.
5. Planning Problems
When you make solid plans with a person and they do not show up, it can feel frustrating. If this happens more than once, it turns infuriating.
But, if this seems out of place for your loved one, do not simply label them as rude. Ask others if they noticed this happening as well.
Also, notice how they act while coming up with a plan. Does it seem frustrating? As the disease progresses, they may lose the ability to plan altogether.
6. Difficulty Communicating
You may notice difficulty with communications as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. At first, they may lose their train of thought more than normal.
Struggling to find the appropriate word can be a sign as well. Or, your loved one may keep using the same word over and over, since it feels familiar and they cannot think of another one.
As the disease moves forward, the names of common objects may slip the person’s mind. This can lead to them describing the item.
Give them time to think and speak, rather than finishing the sentence for them. Remove distractions and keep your patience.
7. Personality Changes
As Alzheimer’s symptoms progress, you may struggle at times to recognize your loved one. At first, it may seem like moodiness.
But as time goes on, they may act fearful, paranoid, and angry as a side effect of the cognitive impairments. This can feel incredibly heartbreaking for loved ones.
Remind them of positive things they used to do and say to help you both hold onto that person you love. Do not take these personality changes personally, especially if they turn against you at the moment.
When to Choose Memory Care
Of course, you want to keep your loved ones home where they feel loved. But, as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you should continuously assess if this remains the best option.
You should put your loved one into memory care when:
- They escape and get lost
- Accidents happen
- You cannot keep them completely safe
- The caregivers feel burnt out
- You no longer know how to care for them
- Your loved one needs more care than you can provide
Senior living facilities with memory care provide a safe and enriching environment, specifically for dementia patients. Medical professionals and trained staff take care of and watch over them, and allow you to live your life as well.
Take Alzheimer’s Progression Seriously
Nobody wants to believe that their loved one is losing a battle to any disease. But, do not ignore the signs of Alzheimer’s progression.
Your loved one will need an increasing amount of care as the disease progresses to keep them safe, and we want to help. Take a digital tour and then schedule an appointment today.