Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease can be very difficult to diagnose, as many other conditions can mimic the common symptoms of the disease. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s is done by process of elimination, and the process should be led by a doctor. That said, there are early symptoms and warning signs that can signal the need for further examination by a professional.
Let’s review some of those most common signs and symptoms.
- Experiencing memory loss that disrupts your daily life. All of us deal with memory loss, but for those with Alzheimer’s, their memory loss is severe enough to affect daily life. An individual might forget important dates and events, ask the same questions repeatedly, and require help with tasks they used to perform on their own. They will also show difficulty in planning and problem solving, working with numbers, and in concentrating on tasks that previously were easy, like following a recipe.
- They experience visual changes. An individual suffering from Alzheimer’s may no longer be able to judge distance, color and contrast as well.
- An individual may have difficulty finding the right words, following or joining a conversation, and may call things by the wrong name. They also may be unable to retrace their steps to recover a lost or misplaced item.
- Poor judgment is one of the hallmarks of the disease – individuals may show poor judgment in dealing with money, with personal hygiene, and may withdrawal from social activities they used to enjoy. They will also likely experience changes in mood and personality; they may become depressed, suspicious, anxious, and are upset easily.
All of these signs and symptoms, though, could be indicators of another disease, or of a medication complication. What’s important to note is a physician’s help is key; Alzheimer’s requires careful medical evaluation, a thorough history, testing, and more. Nothing can replace the help and expertise a doctor can provide. About the Author: Bridges by EPOCH is the evolution of EPOCH Senior Living’s renowned memory care program BRIDGES. Recognizing that a free-standing community devoted entirely to caring for those with memory challenges can provide more focused care, an enhanced lifestyle and a more fulfilling environment, Bridges by EPOCH is the realization of EPOCH’s commitment to improving the lives of all those touched by Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. EOEA Certification Application Pending. With nearly 20 years of experience in the senior living industry, Alicia Seaver is committed to making a difference in the lives of seniors. Prior to joining the Bridges by EPOCH team, Alicia held various positions at senior living communities in Florida and Massachusetts, including Executive Director of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care and Memory Care Program Director at Emeritus Senior Living. Through her extensive experience, Alicia gained valuable knowledge and expertise that will allow her to truly make a difference in the lives of residents at Bridges by EPOCH at Hingham. Additionally, Alicia is certified by the National Institute on Aging as a Memory Impairment Specialist and is certified in both Massachusetts and Florida as a State Certified Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Trainer. Alicia is excited to be part of an organization that is as dedicated to providing high quality, individualized care to seniors as she is. Alicia currently lives in South Shore with her husband and two daughters.