How to recognize and treat early symptoms
Too often, the first signs of memory-related disorders like Alzheimer's or dementia are dismissed as part of normal aging. The earlier you recognize the symptoms for what they are, the sooner you can help your loved one get the proper care and treatment. The following signs may indicate something beyond the typical "senior moment":
Confusion and forgetfulness
Some of the most common signs of Alzheimer's include forgetting important dates, failing to retain recently learned information, confusion with time and place, and asking for the same information over and over again.
Another common sign is a change in the individual's ability to follow directions or work with numbers. This may include trouble concentrating or following a familiar recipe.
Vision and speech problems
Some individuals develop difficulty reading, determining colors, perceiving spatial relationships, or even recognizing themselves in a mirror. Other people may struggle to find the right words or to follow a conversation.
Changes in personality
Symptoms of Alzheimer's sometimes include changes in mood. A person may become fearful, suspicious, depressed, withdrawn, or agitated, especially when a familiar routine is interrupted.
Memory loss may cause people to give away large sums of money or reveal sensitive information. Other people may dress inappropriately or neglect normal grooming and personal hygiene.
I know the signs. Now what?
There are a wealth of memory care options available right here in the greater Kansas City area. Experts recommend that you look for a provider with a dedicated memory care neighborhood, where your loved one can pursue activities, remain involved, and feel safe and comfortable—all while receiving individualized care.
Also, be sure to ask about the staff-to-resident ratio. You don't want the staff to simply check in on your loved one now and then; you want engaged residents and compassionate, one-on-one care. This creates meaningful relationships for both resident and staff.