Recognising this condition as early as possible means treatment can beginb sooner, which, while it won't stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease, it will slow it.

This information is adapted from the Alzheimer's Association.

  • Recent memory loss that affects job skills. It's normal to forget people's names from time to time, but frequent forgetfulness is cause for concern.

  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Anyone can leave a button unbuttoned. But when someone becomes persistently challenged by buttons, or other tasks of daily living most people take for granted, that's cause for concern.

  • Language problems. From time to time, anyone can have difficulty finding the right word. But when simple words present problems, or when sentences become incomprehensible, that might signal Alzheimer's.

  • Time and place disorientation. It's normal to forget the date or a destination. But people with Alzheimer's often feel lost standing across the street from their homes.

  • Loss of judgment. Anyone can fail to notice that an item of clothing is stained. But when someone dresses completely inappropriately--wearing several shirts or mistaking underwear for a hat--that's cause for concern.

  • Problems with abstract thinking. Anyone can struggle over balancing a checkbook. People with Alzheimer's forget what numbers are for and how to use them.

  • Misplacing things. Anyone can misplace a wallet or keys. But when someone puts a wallet in the refrigerator, or keys in the sink, that's cause for concern.

  • Changes in mood or behavior. Changing moods are a fact of life. But people with Alzheimer's often exhibit rapid mood changes--from calm to tears to rage--for no apparent reason.

  • Changes in personality. People often become more “crotchety" as they become elderly. But Alzheimer's often makes people paranoid, very confused, or fearful.

  • Loss of initiative. It's normal to get bored with daily activities. But when people lose much of their get-up-and-go, that's cause for concern.

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