Continued from Identifying Alzheimer’s – I

Identifying Alzheimer’s – II

If someone you care about is experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s, knowing the signs can help you assist in managing the disease.

7 Withdrawal from work and social activities

A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities, or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity. Avoidance can increase as symptoms worsen.

8 Changes in mood and personality

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They may easily get upset at home, with friends, or when out of their comfort zone. These changes are often the most convincing evidence for families that something is wrong. Apathy is common, and many individuals lose interest in their usual activities. A person may become withdrawn, irritable, or inexplicably hostile. Extreme swings in mood and personality may occur. A noticeable change in moods may include confusion, depression, anxiety, and fearfulness. 

9 Onset of Apraxia

The inability to perform basic motor skills such as walking, dressing, and eating a meal is known as apraxia. A person with apraxia has literally forgotten how to perform these activities. Usually, apraxia develops gradually, but in some cases, it begins abruptly. Apraxia may first be evident in fine hand movements, showing up in illegible handwriting, and clumsiness in buttoning his/her clothing. Everyday skills like using a phone or switching channels on a TV set may disappear. Eventually, the ability to chew, walk, or sit up in a chair is lost.

10 Behavior problems

Troublesome changes in behavior are a common feature of the disease. Examples include being stubborn, resisting care, refusing to give up unsafe activities, pacing or hand-wringing, wandering, using obscene or abusive language, stealing, hiding things, getting lost, engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, urinating in unsuitable places, wearing too few or too many clothes, eating inappropriate objects, dropping lit cigarettes, and so on.

11 Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses. This differs from a typical age-related change like misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

12 Expressing catastrophic reactions

A strong emotional response to a minor problem is another symptom of the disease. Catastrophic reactions can involve crying inconsolably, shouting, swearing, agitated pacing, refusing to participate in an activity, or striking out at another person. The usual triggers include fatigue, stress, discomfort, and the failure to understand a situation. 

Although a person loses many abilities as the disease progresses, it is often helpful to focus on the abilities they still have, such as the senses of touch and hearing and the ability to respond to emotion. This might make your journey with Alzheimer’s a bit easier.

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