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Recognizing the First Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. An awareness month is created to help people learn more about the disease, how to recognize it, how to live with it, and hopefully, someday, how to cure it.

There currently isn’t a cure for this progressive disease that slowly takes away a person’s memory along with their ability to cognitively function. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still not fully understood but is believed to be linked to several things that may occur in a person’s health.

  • Age-related changes. The brain naturally ages and with that comes shrinkage, inflammation, and blood vessel damage. All may lead to Alzheimer’s.
  • Genetics-related. If Alzheimer’s disease has been a part of your family history, the risk of developing it is higher.
  • Environment factors. Strokes, diabetes, obesity, and even exposure to pollutants can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

For many, the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s are hard to distinguish because they may look like normal aging. The key when reviewing the symptoms is to consider if your loved one has found the symptoms are interfering with her ability to function daily or if they are occurring with increasing speed. An occasional forgotten name, getting turned around in the store, or misplacing the remote control does on necessarily mean your loved one is developing Alzheimer’s.

Let’s look at the most common symptoms.

  • Memory Loss. While everyone forgets some things, look for signs that your loved one is forgetting recent occurrences that while they may not be remembered exactly, she should have some memory of it. For example, if your loved one forgot that her niece visited yesterday, that may be a sign of Alzheimer’s
  • Problems communicating. Forgetting a word here or there is normal, but being unable to complete a thought or communicate an idea is a problem.
  • Struggling to follow directions. Not being able to follow a recipe or remember simple directions might be indicative of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Spatial judgment. At the early onset of Alzheimer’s, many people lose the ability to judge distance or decipher patterns.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she can still live somewhat independently for a while with the help of family or an Alzheimer’s care specialist. An Alzheimer’s care provider can come to the home to help with tasks and processes that your loved one can no longer do, such as preparing a meal or driving to an appointment. An Alzheimer’s Care provider is also skilled at recognizing when symptoms are getting worse and your loved one may need more assistance, whether that’s at home or in a memory care facility.

You will also need help on this journey, and the Alzheimer’s care professional can help you as well by providing a bit of respite from the 24/7 caregiving and assistance in finding other avenues of support. This is not a road you want to travel alone with your loved one. The more support you have will help you both manage her Alzheimer’s better.

If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Summerlin, NV for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.

What Are the Signs that it’s Time for Alzheimer’s Care?

Alzheimer's Care in Summerlin NV
Alzheimer’s Care in Summerlin NV

It’s estimated that 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and that number keeps increasing. Around three out of ten adults with Alzheimer’s are below the age of 75, so it’s common for their children to still be raising families and working full-time jobs. Your mom has Alzheimer’s disease, and you’re not sure what to do. You want to help her as much as you can, but you have a full-time job and aren’t close to retirement age. How do you know when it’s time for Alzheimer’s care for your mom? Here are a few signs to look for.

She Fails to Take Her Medications

Here’s one of the most alarming aspects of the disease. Your mom forgets to take her Alzheimer’s medications, vitamins, and antidepressants. Or, she takes them and doesn’t remember taking them, so she takes more. Soon, you find she’s taken four antidepressants in one day because she couldn’t remember.

Alzheimer’s care aides can keep her pills locked in a cabinet and get them out for her to take. If she tries to take more, they can redirect her and assure her she’s already taken them.

She Can’t Drive

When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the memory care team will recommend giving up the keys early on. You don’t want your mom driving around the city with no idea how to get back home.

When she has to stop driving, she doesn’t have to stop going out. She can have Alzheimer’s care services for transportation that accompany her to appointments and when running errands.

Your Mom is Wandering

You arrive to visit your mom and find she’s left her home. An hour passes and she’s not back, so you’re worried. You set off and find her wandering the streets. She didn’t recognize her home and had no idea how to get back. She needs someone with her 24/7 if she’s wandering.

Your Mom Forgets Food is Cooking

Your mom sets off her smoke detector because she forgot she’d started cooking scrambled eggs. When the smoke set off the alarms in her home, the eggs were on smoking. Thankfully, your brother was in the home and prevented a kitchen fire, but you worry about her doing this again.

She’s Becoming Incontinent

Often, people with Alzheimer’s lose track of simple things like when their bladder is full. They may not remember how to get to the bathroom in time. Incontinence is normal in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. It helps to have a caregiver to offer cues that your mom should go to the bathroom and help her get to the toilet and use it in time.

Once you know your mom’s care needs, talk to an expert in Alzheimer’s care. It’s not a disease that progresses the same with everyone. Some will slowly progress for years, while others seem to rush from one stage to the next. Pay attention to your mom’s abilities and arrange Alzheimer’s care as soon as you notice she’s struggling with self-care and housekeeping.


If you are considering Alzheimer’s care in Summerlin, NV, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Summerlin. 702-800-4616.