Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition causing a decline in cognitive function and a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. Even before a diagnosis is determined, early signs are typically present which can alert an individual or their family of an issue. The following are eight early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Memory Loss Affecting Daily Life
The most familiar sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. As cognitive abilities decline, a person may ask for the same information over and over or rely on reminder notes for things they used to remember on their own.
Anxiety is common as people age, but a sudden increase in anxiety could be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Symptoms of anxiety can manifest themselves even before the onset of a cognitive impairment. In a study published by The America Journal of Psychiatry, research suggests higher levels of amyloid beta, a protein that builds plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, leads to increased anxiety in individuals. The results support the theory of neuropsychiatric symptoms being an early indicator of Alzheimer’s.
3. Skipping Social Events
If a person begins having difficulty following conversations, especially in groups, they may not go out to lunch with their friends like they used to. This can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s as a person may forego public environments to avoid embarrassment.
4. Trouble Managing Money
Having difficulty transferring money between accounts or keeping track of paying bills can be a red flag. For example, if one spouse has always done the bills and the other spouse needs to take over because they weren’t being done right. These situations can be an early sign of the disease. Difficulty managing money can also place the individual at risk for fraud.
5. Difficulty Remembering Recent Important Events
While forgetting something small may not cause alarm, forgetting a recent important conversation or major news event can be concerning. This is especially the case if people can’t remember they forgot it.
“Early signs are typically present which can alert an individual or their family of an issue.”
6. Losing Interest in Favorite Hobbies
An early sign of Alzheimer’s can be when people skip their favorite hobbies, such as a daily round of golf, neighborhood walk, or volunteering at the hospital. As the brain changes, a person loses motivation which can mimic depression.
7. Inability to Plan
In the early stages of the disease, a person’s ability to plan or multi-task is affected. If Grandma always hosted holiday dinners and now has trouble planning the meal or organizing the dinner, this shift in abilities could be an early sign.
8. Problems Speaking or Writing
People with Alzheimer’s often repeat themselves or struggle to come up with the right words to say. They may lose their thought process mid-conversation or call things by the wrong name.
At LTC Consumer, we understand the challenges families face as people age. If you’re interested in learning how Long Term Care Insurance can protect your family, contact us today.