Forgetting recently learned information is one of the most common early signs of dementia. A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall the information later.
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
People with dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday tasks. Individuals may lose track of the steps involved in preparing a meal, placing a telephone call or playing a game.
Problems with Language
People with Alzheimer’s disease often forget simple words or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand. They may be unable to find the toothbrush, for example, and instead ask for “the thing for my mouth.”
Disorientation to Time and Place
People with Alzheimer’s disease can become lost in their own neighborhood, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get home.
Poor or Decreased Judgement
Those with Alzheimer’s may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers on a warm day or little clothing in the cold. They may show poor judgment, like giving away large sums of money to telemarketers.
Problems with Abstract Thinking
Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may have unusual difficulty performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what numbers are for and how they should be used.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places: an iron in the freezer a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
Change in Mood or Behavior
Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may show rapid mood swings—from calm to tears to anger—for no apparent reason.
Changes in Personality
The personalities of people with dementia can change dramatically. They may become extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or dependent on a family member.
Loss of Initiative
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may become very passive, sitting in front of the TV for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to do usual activities.
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