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With November upon us, the holiday season is apparent. This time of year I experience an increase in calls and e-mails from concerned family members. Since the holidays are often a time when families who are miles apart gather with one another, memory problems get noticed. A son or daughter visiting mom or dad for a few days may begin to see changes in memory that may not have been so apparent during their phone call visits.
Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between the normal changes that occur with aging and the signs of something more serious like Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association has an updated list of 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's that I find helpful. Each warning sign includes a description with some examples. In addition, there is a brief statement of normal or typical age related changes that may not be a cause to worry.
Alzheimer's Association 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's:
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
My 50 yr old father woke up one day acting strange. He didn't want to talk or be talked to. All he said was he'd be okay. Now his mood has changed. He's cursing more and getting angry easily. I've also noticed him making long, drawn out grunting sounds after coughingetting or straining. It's 10 seconds of "MmmmmMmMmmmmm" or almost like a low buzzing noise.
My mother shows signs of Alzheimer's. She's not the kind of person you talk about these things with. She gets upset and cries and asks us how we would feel if she told us we were forgetful. She's become very mean on occasion. She's even told me I'm a bad mom. My child is 2 and my mom is always telling me she isn't drinking enough water. If my daughter cries even slightly during this so called dehydrated time, my mother tells me she has a headache from being dehydrated. Most often she yells at me about dehydration while my little girl is sitting there drinking water. She's also forgotten about her personal hygiene and doesn't smell good. She gets diarrhea and has had it in the bed and not known it. She has also been trying to get out of the chair for either poop or pee and can't do it. Now, she won't even shower after something like this has happened. Now she wants me to go to her house to trim her toenails. Her foot doctor doesn't want me doing that (mom is diabetic) but mom insists. So how do you bring this up? Do I need to talk to her doctor myself? My mom won't allow my dad to take her to the doctor or anything. He's not sure if she'd be ok with me talking to her doctor.
You all seem very angry. Imagine how the person suffering feels. They are much more confused than you.
Further to 77 year old partner. Apologies for stupid typographical errors.
She is demanding that I find somewhere else to live, and is making astounding losses of words, no matter what the GP who thinks she is 'a lovely lady.'of course she is, but the nice family guy does not live in hell 24 hours a day. She is totally convinced and obsessed with this 'other' woman whose name I do not even know, and talks in terms of where we can get a house together.
For brief periods time with this s lady who I love deeply, can be wonderful and fulfilling. Then the shrew from Hell returns behind her eyes and I became the most untrustworthy, vile, scheming, dishonest monster she has ever met. I don't really have the funds to relocate and don't really want to, but am increasingly attracted to the option of a 'too many tablets' event. This would end my pain, I presume, but have now lost all self-esteem and hope. I have failed to control the situation, made a false confession of guilt which as a strategy was crap, and am upsetting grandchildren, and would just the misery and the lack of trust, my failure, to stop. Nobody knows or seems to cre so long as the problems are not theirs. I am a failed Carer, distrusted, have incriminated myself as an act of self-destruction and can see no way forward.
Any words of comfort, advice or help?
In total despair, hopeless.
Update on my comments on a 77 year old partner accusing me of serial theft, having an affair (when?) selling her evening gowns and jewellery and taking money from her handbag. This together with screaming rages, racial abuse as I am a Jewish convert to Catholisism (her fait).
Last week I became so desperate I could not stop crying and tried to find alternative accommodation. I opened a bank account as mine had been closed and the small amounts paid into her account. She has recently changed the details of said account so I cannot 'steal' contents. I have had access to this account for years,drew nothing untoward, and recently obtained £3.5k to settle outstanding power debts.
I became so unhappy and confused that I made a false confession to her admitting theft and reset, although none of her accusations of dishonesty against me is true. I just want the accusation and hateful life to stop. I have made a big mistake in confessing to things I have not done. She has 'bribed' our GP with expensive wine and sweets for his kids and in an attempt to get some kind of corroboration of my plight. GP only addressed her high score in a brief memory test, describing her as 'a lovely lad' which she is. I added my false confession that I am at fault. Misery, and the whole situation is passing out of any semblance of control.
Hi I am 49 years old I have read your colum which was interesting as I fit into most of them is it possible I could have this am worried as my mother has it too much appreciated if anyone could help or give advice.
I am a 74 year old male. My 77 year old partner, a lady and I have been together for twenty years. Over the last year or two her memory has started to deteriorate and she is now very bad with names and events and asks the same question over and over. She has become convinced that I am stealing from her, purse, papers, money, clothes, makeup, and that I have a mistress. She retains my benefit card and gives me little or no money and threaten violence in abusive language. She is charming and lovely and praises me as 'wonderful' then within an hour or two accuses me of stealing constantly. She has chronic pain management problems with arthritis and atrial fibrillation. I have suffered a cardiac arrest and suffer from depressive illness.
She is driving me to despair and an overdose. When in her 'bad' incarnation she reviles me constantly. I have no family and am on despair about what to do.
Some people are responsible for old people that are not even related to them. They are stuck in a situation of an old person with Alzheimer symptoms and feel they need to lock this person in their room while the others go shopping and doing necessary things like going to work.
What are people supposed to do with the old one? Lock them in their room?
Chronic paranoia. 77 year old female. Forgets entire tv shows then watches them again immediately for the 'first.' time. Cannot retain facts about simple events. Accuses 74 year old partner of serial theft, infidelity, stealing makeup to give to other women. A catalogue of mad inconsistent forgetful mistrusting hateful, verbally abuseive, screaming rages, threats of physical harm, racial insults, lies, fantasy, thinks she is being poisoned.
The most neglected, yet most fundamental foundation of our selves is our endocrine system. Our HORMONES. At 53, I graduated with a master's in computers. A few months later, I never turned it on. I gained 30 pounds, missed appointments, neglected everything. No doctor could diagnose. Depression meds, Alzheimers mentioned. I heard an ad, made an appointment. My "free" testosterone should be 700, I was at 104. I am at 700 with replacement therapy and am catching up on one year of work. My ESTROGEN is off the charts. I was given a med, once that lowers, I should be normal. Do not believe every thing a Doctor says!. Be proactive. Caused by, opiate pain medicine !!! Hope this helps one person.
My sister came to stay one month I noticed her memory was bad and also she used her hands to describe objects even when we were on the bus which made people stare! She is 70 and our mother died of alzeimers. Does she have a problem?
I help my daughter w her grandmother whom is in moderate stage of Alzheimer's.....she stays angry now...but sometimes it does appear that she uses her disease (sometimes) to get what she wants....she gets irate when we refuse to give her a cigarette....she Will even steal them....and at these times she comes back and will say exactly what she saw..for instance....I saw you hiding them from me a while ago WHEN I came in here.....she is very sneaky and angry.....acts now like she could be going back to her childhood more...and this is a woman that would normally not even say damn...84 yrs old....brought on from stroke...and EVERYYYY family member on her mamas side either died from this or now has it....her and one living sister...a living brother....and her.....Her Mom had it....her gma...so on....neverrr saw a whole family have it...thank you Paulette loudermik
Even if youre just 60?
I am 31 years old and have this sinking feeling that I'm developing early onset Alzheimer's. I watched the movie, "Still Alice" with Julianne Moore and felt exactly what she was going through. I did have a bleed in the brain when I was born and not sure if that were to have something to do with this? My day to day activities are tough sometimes. Some days I don't remember anything on my task list and other days I don't even remember what I did the day before or even what I had for dinner the night before. My spouse comes home from work on my day off and says what did you do today and I say I don't remember, probably nothing. It's getting to a point where I'm driving past work not remembering where im supposed to go either.
Is this something I should look into further?
My mom is 74 years old and in the past year she's been showing many signs. She repeatedly misplaces very important documents and items (such as her license, medical identification cards, glasses, money).
I have a 50 year old and a 47 year old brother and sister who are mentally retarded from birth and she has always been their primary caregiver.
Just recently she locked herself out of her apartment. We are in the process of taking her to a neuroligist. She's scheduled for a Memory Test on Monday as well as an MRI of the brain.
My oldest sister wants to move them all in with her in Illinois but we live in New Jersey and my mother refuses to move. She feels like she would be a burden. She's always been very independent. But I have two young children of my own and cannot afford to move them in with us. I really need some help convincing her that it's best for her to go live with my sister in Illinois.
Do you have any idea of how I could possibly do that? She's very stubborn and very suspicious. I feel like she doesn't trust me (and I've been there for her ALWAYS...it's only since I was married and started my own family that I have not been able to see her as much even living in the same city.
Please, please, please help me find the words or actions necessary to convince her that she has to move in with my sister who has no children a double house and is retiring from her job and wants to take care of them.
I have never been able to remember people's names. I'm unsure why that is so if I don't have fairly frequent contact with them. For example, there were 18 people in my HS graduation class. I cannot name but a few of them - those that I was close to and to make it worse, I was a boarding student!
I worked for 5 years close to a group of psychiatrists and therapists in a small mental health clinic. There were about 7 clerks and I was one of two transcriptionists. Can't remember but about 3 of the people I worked with.
Otherwise, I seem to be fine. When I can't remember a word I want, I know that if I don't try and figure out what it is and just wait or substitute another then eventually I will remember it.
I keep computerized post-it notes so never miss apts. or what I must do. But that seems reasonable. I have an organized mind when it comes to paperwork, bank, etc. so never have problems finding or dealing with things and paper work.
I'm 83, so figure I've escaped what my uncle did not: Alzheimer's disease.
My brain has always been my most important organ system. I am 69 and can say without exaggeration that ever since I was a teenager, I've lived a life of the mind. I've been a writer, a scientist and a parent for 55+ years. More mentally active than ever, I've been writing actively and learning new subjects. my most recent passion has been evolutionary biology which I missed in formal schooling and have been "catching-up on" for 3 years now.
OK. Here's the deal. Lately I've noticed that I forget the names of actors momentarily (I run a movie lovers' site online) that formerly I would have remembered right away. Usually I clear my mind and go on to other things, then I come back to it in a few minutes and it usually "pops-up" in my mind (coming back to it requires a function of short-term memory right?). Sometimes I think my brain is like a hard drive that has so much data on it that it needs a vigorous "defragging" (defragmentation).
Nothing else is a problem yet. I don't have any of the other problems associated with aging dementia. I
m wondering if I should have a neurological work up? Or am I just worrying?
On a few occasions my girlfriend age 47 which I live with has been going through some changes regarding important decision making such as she doesn't remember asking me to live with her,what she had for a meal shortly after eating,and today,she can't remember how to"French Braid" her hair to list a few...her mood swings often...lovey dovey to don't touch me! I'm concerned since she comes from family that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Could these be warning signs or could it be Menopause symptoms? Worried
I keep forgetting what day it is
I went to pick up someone & went to the wrong persons house then I couldn't remember the name of the persons house I was at then I went to see my best mate, when I got to her house her neice answered the door
I totally forgot her neice"s name & I got so confused on the doorstep I forgot my best friends name even when I got inside after I was told her name I couldn't remember it. I'm 51 is it possible I might be losing my memory
How do you cure it ?
I've been having trouble with words. Tonight I kept saying litter box bag instead of cat litter. I said it three times incorrectly before my husband corrected me with the correct words. I'm 49 years old and my mother had dementia so I am worried I'm following the same path. The article was very informative and thank you for the typical answers. I will be following up with my family physician.
My fiance is 63 and he repeatedly misplaces things or forgets specific things and gets angry, accuses me and others and fights with me over it, just today he asked me where his black phone charger is, I told him it didnt work which is what he told me so I had given him my charger at the time, then I remembered it was actually broken our son unplugged his tablet at an angle causing it to break, my son chimed in telling him it was broken (he knew all of this bc he yelled at him for breaking it when it happened) he continued to tell me that I took it and Im keeping it from him and despite both of us telling him it was broken and thats why i gave him mine he got angrier and kept blowing us off saying "whatever, go away" and its the same with misplaced important documents he has a filing cabinet but doesnt keep up with stuff he just shoves papers into a pile then he cant find stuff and i get accused of touching it, we've had this happen with keys he'll flip out asking me what i did with them and then finds them in either one of his jackets or in his pockets we had a huge blowout over $60 he accused me of stealing money out of his pocket on the pants he was wearing, pickpocketing! I spent 20 minutes telling him it wasnt me i didnt even physically touch him that day he was accusing me of something that was physically impossible, i begged him to check his pickets he said he did but i told him unless he dropped it the money had to be in there, he emptied his pockets and there it was, its getting scary like really scary
Very helpful I am getting older and I am worried that I was getting that but after reading this I feel better.
I found this article very informative. Even concerning myself. Thank you.
My grandmother had Alzheimer's and passed away in her mid- to late-sixties. Now my mom is fifty-six, and she is afraid of developing Alzheimer's herself. Anytime she can't think of the name of something, she jokes about how we're going to have to put her in a home, but she shows none of the warning signs listed above...she just forgets random things like everyone else, but never anything that actually matters. I want to reassure her that her now-and-then forgetfulness is not evidence that she is developing Alzheimer's, but I don't really know what to say because she lived through her mom suffering from Alzheimer's and it's definitely a legitimate fear of hers. Do you have any advice for someone who believes his mom is not developing early onset Alzheimer's and wants to encourage her to stop feeling anxious anytime she forgets the name of a book or small things like that? Thanks.
This was informative.
My concern a sister 75 always a delight,now disinterested,forgets I phoned,no conversation ,was very stressed when I visited,concerned she may be in early stages.
I fear that I am in the beginning stages and when I bring it up to my husband and my doctor they just brush me off. I have a chronic illness that contributes to alot of my memory issues but I feel that there is more than just pain medication at play here. I am almost 47 years old and terrified I will not see my teenaged children grow up and go out into the world.
I just want to know so that I can prepare and my family can prepare for my long term care should it come to that but know one wants to talk about aomethong that hasn't been diagnosed.
I love to express my view on things. Is that a sign of alzheimers. Spelling the word alzheimer's is a challenge.I eat one meal + snacks a day instead of the three course typical.I'm retired so why should I should eat eat the same as when I worked. I get stressed when things don't go right and that is when a person makes mistakes and forgets.When I'm in thought and someone interfers with what I am doing I get annoyed.I'm 75 and seeing the town doesn't have the same appeal as when I was young.
I forget and so long as I don't forget who I am,where I am and who my friends are,who cares. So having alzheimers is to say I'm mentally challenged,which replaces the old word retarded. Thanks ever so much you good people.I had such problems when I was 25.
So my conclusion from this is that mental decline associated with normal aging is indistinguishable from mental decline associated with the onset of Alzheimers...
Some medications, especially drugs for epilepsy and psych drugs, mimic the signs of alzheimers. I think it is really important to know the meds you or your loved ones are taking. I seemed to have dementia the moment I started taking Topomax for daily migraines. It was the side effects or daily pain. I chose the side effects. They get worse for seniors. My mother takes it as well and I am unsure if she is actually getting dementia or she is struggling with the side effects or it is a little bit of both. It's difficult to watch.
There are many quality articles about this disease but very few mention the possibility of NPH (normal pressure hydroencephalitus) as a condition that is symptomatically similar to Alzheimers. Research diligently before concluding doom.
in the last few years i have been very forgetfull i would not no if i asked a question to my partner i do forget thing very quckly i cant even remmber what i done early this day my mood swings are very bad as i will hit out at some one then not no what they have said to me i tend to sleep most of the day as i cant be bothered to get out of bed i dont wash as much and i only eat once a day witch is a pot noodle as i dont like the smell of cooking i all so self harm if i have been up set by people or they call me ugly and then i just shut ny self aways for daysi only eat once at night time and thats it as i dont feel hungrey any more what can i do to get my self back to the way i was as i was such a happy person and would any thing for a lagth but now i dont no what i want apart from wantting to be with my mum and dad as they left me nine years ago and i dont no why please can you help me get my life back on track thank you from georgina brooker.
I have a sister that is 66 and for years has had difficulties remembering things events etc She also can't seem to follow simple directions about things during the day . Confuses very easily . She has been told she doesn't have alzeimers however something is missing I am very concerned . Is there a blood test that can be used as a good indicator that alzeimers can be a possibility ? Please help I am at a loss as to what steps I can direct her to . Thank you
Thank you for the post you've made.
What is the latest research for how to prevent or reverse alzheimers?
"Specific ways" and "becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted" should have my picture next to it. This one made me laugh out loud as it is a perfect description of me.
Thank you . Understanding things about health issues relieves the stress. I wish I would have paid my subscription dues when I got them. I have so much respect for everyone at Mayo Clinic.
thank u for information.This article is very good for providing main warning signs of the disease.Though v know that not much can be done for stopping the progress of this illness but we can make others to understand this condition
Lumosity, created by NIH, uses computer games to keep our minds sharp. I see improvement in concentration, verbal skills, spacial recognition. I thought I was starting dementia, now I think it was not exercising my mind.
People having problems understanding need to read more carefully. The article clearly says in the introduction: "In addition, there is a brief statement of normal or typical age related changes that may not be a cause to worry."
Typical=nornal=don't fret yourself.
Thank you for your article it certainly ticked all the boxes that I saw in my mother's changes yes she has been diagnosed.As for all the negative comments you people worried about the word typical I would say you only have parranoia and dont run down a well written article that does help loved ones worried about their parents. Also people with alxheimers would never seek to read about it because they are in complete denial that any of the described symptoms are happening to them.
I think all of us who are advancing in age, pondered just what the author meant by "typical" and it surely should be edited and changed to be clearer.
Perhaps I already have Alzheimer's because I wasn't sure whether "typical" means typical for anyone who is getting on in years or is an indication of emerging Alzheimer's
When I first read the article it certainly frightened me too. Thankfully reading the comments enlightened me. Yes, the original article from the Alzheimer's website explains it much better. Hopefully, the MAYO CLINIC revises their article soon so others aren't misunderstanding their article.
Thanks to everyone for fully explaining the use of 'typical' and 'normal'.
If you look at the Alz Assoc webpage where this info is also posted, it is much easier to understand there- below is the way it is listed there, notice the additional wording and spacing used to make it much clearer for readers.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
What's a typical age-related change?
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
I agree with John, but I do think the choice of the words "normal signs" would be better than "typical". Overall, a very informative article.
Sorry folks, but the introductory paragraph plainly stated "In addition, there is a brief statement of normal or typical age related changes that may not be a cause to worry." Don't believe it could have been stated any clearer than that
Thank you for this. It was very useful and cleared up some myths for me.
Perhaps you should have mentioned that other dementias have symptoms not unlike Alzheimer's. In general, I found the article very good and the exceptions for aging clearly stated, many of which this 82 year old manifests.
Yes, this article is very confusing. The "What's Typical" section at the end of each section is explaining what's typical for a non-Alzheimer's person, but it doesn't read that way- it seems to be a continuation of what's typical for Alzheimer's patients. This article should be revised and re-emailed out to the people you sent this Housecalls to so you don't scare thousands of people into thinking they have this disease! Unfortunately, this is not the first article I have read on this website that contains poor quality information- please try to provide us with better quality and more accurate health information as we have come to expect from Mayo!
I think that Doug should have someone stay with him until his wife returns because of his heart problem because my father had a heart problem and my Mom had someone with him when she went out for groceries,etc.And if he is having those types of memory problems too.
OK - I've had a lot of these symptoms all of my life (I'm 56) and I am fully functional. Based on the end of my father's life this sounds more like dementia, not altzeimers.
The point that one may pass a mirror and think that someone else is in the room is really frightening. That would be a real problem.
I read many an entry in the blog, I could not read all of them. I do want to mention though that when taking certain medications such as mind altering drugs for pain, for instance, some of these same signs appear, even though the person does not have Alzheimers. A medication in questions is Lyrica for fibromyalgia, e.g. It can really make a person search for words that are in his/her vocabulary, but they do not come forth. Did anyone address this as to what role medication plays in these signs?
I agree with many who wrote that the article is very misleadind
And needs a smart revision asap.
What are the educational requirements for this position? Really question some of the typical examples. Could this be written to be politically correct???
You know you really used the word 'TYPICAL" in an incorrect and completely misleading way...I thought that each paragraph listed the warning sign of Alzheimer's followed by a "typical" example of that warning sign. You should have made it clear that what you really meant was that what followed the warning sign was an example of "normal" forgetting with aging. I wondered why all your examples did NOT sound like alzheimer's and so finally figured out what you were doing. I looked up the word "typical" to make sure I wasn't missing something here and indeed one definition is "representative example" so as you can see, the best understanding of what the author was saying should have been that what followed the word "typical" should have been a "representative example" of the alzheimer's warning sign which preceded it. Incorrect choice of word made this article very confusing and seemed to be saying the OPPOSITE of what was actually true. which is why the comment below says "oh my, I have alzheimer's according to your list". I wonder how many people you misled and even scared by your misuse of the word "typical".
OH, MY MY!! I HAVE ALZEIMER'S ACCORDING TO YOUR LIST AND IT SCARED THE @*%^ OUT OF ME UNTIL I READ THE BLOG. ACCORDING TO THE OTHERS THAT WERE FRIGHTENED THANKFULLY WE KNOW WE DO NOT HAVE ALZEIMER'S. THAT LIST MORE THAN LIKELY HAS HALF THE POPULATION THINKING THEY MAY BE GETTING THE DISEASE. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO REWRITE OR EDIT IT? THANKS VERY MUCH!!!
when my mom came down with alzheimers, (way back in 1990)the very first thing she lost was the ability to deal with numbers. transposed numbers, entered wrong number on adding machine, could not balance checkbook, or add a row of numbers. long before any other symptom. numbers numbers numbers
My mother was a twin and her twin sister develolped Alzeimers first, then my mother got it. We are not sure just when she contracted this , because she was always a little ecentric. By the time we knew what it was it was too late for any treatment. The major difference that I saw was her
giving away her valuables. She was always very Stingy in her life. Even to the point of denying her sister "jelly" because she was taking too much.
She began giving everything away, and buying things from the TV Shopping Network. Which she didn't need.
I wish there was some help during that time. but that was 20 yrs ago and we were at a loss.
Hopefully there is a brighter future.
I use my mind as much as I can. Doing puzzles etc...
Dealing with my mother and her Alzheimers diagnosis yesterday, I found your list to be very helpful and a relief for me to read the typical, daily mistakes that I make, are not
progressive or signs of the big A! I also agree
that the smell/peanut butter sign should be mentioned. Thankyou.
I agree with the folks who say this list can be misleading. Too general and too easily mixed up with normal aging process or a stressed out caregiver, for that matter. I'd like to add that in the elderly, bladder infections can mimic dementia. I found this with my elderly mom. Had her evaluated by a neuropsychologist, and he told us that with every bladder infection in the elderly, baseline memory is lost, even when the infection is treated. There was a recent incident in Chicago where an elderly male nursing home resident was shot with a riot gun, (no I am not kidding) when police were called during a psychotic episode brought on by a bladder infection. Get your old folks tested and treated!
SOME OF YOUR INDICATORS APPLY TO MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. SO MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS HAVE RELATED HEALTH ISSUES!!
I hope no one takes you seriously. I hope no one is too worried after reading what is and is not typical.
Give me a break.
Retired RN age 85
I am a long distance caregiver for my mother, age 92. Lately she meets your entire list but has some good days. We talk very frequently on the phone and I go there every couple of months. Lately, the last couple of months she is starting to see people in her home. Especially her mother and my father, he paaed away almost 18 years ago. She also sees her sister and she is still alive but no way can she be there. She is older than mom and lives across the states with her daughter. What I am asking is about her seeing the people in her home. Should I be more worried than I am? Is this normal behavior? She tells me about it and believes she is seeing them. I don't tell her she is wrong because I don't want to upset her. What am I doing??? Right or wrong? I saw her last month and will be seein her again in 2 months. Your opinion is important to me. She does not have a doctor, she is never sick, doesn't even take aspirin for a headache. When I was there a couple of weeks in Sept. I got her to take alive for her hip and knee that have been bothering her. She won't see a doctor for it. Again, your opinion is important and appreciated. Diane
Well, I am pretty ancient (I don't feel i), I have always been forgetful, left the baby behind at a friend's house, when I was only 30! Was that early dementia! I don't think your symptoms list at all helpful, many of those listed plagued us all our lives! It it too easy to put a label on someone because of their age.
Insist that your medical professional test for B12 issues (including tests for its use in your body -- you need intrinsic factor, don't just test for amounts of B12) -- thyroid issues, and also check the drugs being taken for their anticholinergic aspect, all of these things can cause memory symptoms-- and we have found in caring for our aging relatives that these tests are sadly over-looked by even very good doctors these days. Insist -- at the very least they'll may rule out some other causes -- and may find a more hopeful answer.
This list of symptoms is helpful but a little 'light' - vascular dementia can be quite easy to confuse with other memory issues especially in the very aged -- get a thorough work-up by a specialist. Have family compare what they notice (take notes).
Then just do your best to be helpful and love them and work to cure the diseases. Caregivers need support and understanding along with the patient. From experience with our aged family members.
The one on using "memory aids" troubles me. I have used electronic aids for over 40 years; because I just plain forget important events. Before the electronic age, I even had a wind-up wristwatch with an alarm to remind me of business things I might forget. Troubling.
One should add that a sure sign of Alzeimer's is the loss of sense of smell,always more severe in the left nostril than the right one.This can be detected by the recently-proposed so-called "peanut butter"test where,by closing one nostril at a time (with the eyes closed),the test-giver brings a blob of peanut butter near right nostril first (and measures at what distant the smell is recognized by the "blinded" person),and,then near the left nostril.If the smell in the left nostril(with right nostril closed)is detected at a much shorter distance than for the test with the right nostril, Alzeimer's is indicated.The physiological explanation is based on the nerve endings in the left nostril connected to the areas of the brain active in sense of smell,and,damaged for the Alzeimer cases.
someone with low blood sugar or dehydration can also experience these signs along with someone who had a migrain headache that causes perminent brain damage. The speach, eye sight and motor skills are also affected. Some may get better but some may not.
This article is a concise and easily understood comparison of the warning signs of alzhemers and normal aging.
I think it is misleading and confusing when the American Alzheimer´s Association refers to problems of perception as "vision" problems. Eyesight, f. ex. nearsightedness and farsightedness are vision problems, as is the cataract example mentioned. My 30+ year nursing home career, combined with a Master´s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation, and a close family memeber with an undiagnosed dementia, has lead me to stress how important it is to come with the correct "label" for these non-visual problems. The images are, of course, taken in and created in the eyeball itself, but it is the brain´s malfunctioning that leads to these images being perceived incorrectly.
This was very helpful as I deal with elderly friends and relatives, especially the contrast statements comparing the AD symptoms with ordinary goof-ups. Thank you.
Excellent, clear and understanable information, especially the "what's typical" comments.
Well, sounds very much like me for the majority of my life! I'm 69 years old and working full time, but, my goodness, I think I cope fairly well even though I have every single sign! Yikes!
These symptoms also seem to be consistent with a concussion or severe head trauma.
Not sure what is meant by the examples under "What's typical?" It could mean typical of the symptoms just stated. Or it could mean typical as in normal behavior. For instance your example under Withdrawal from work or social activities is followed by What's typica? Sometimes feeling weary.... Well, everyone feels weary of work, family and social obligations at times. So what does the word typical mean in these cases? Quite confusing (or do I have Alheimers???? )
Great list! I especially like the "what's normal". Too many times kids panic (and seniors too) when their parents are forgetful. Many times it's normal behavior.
Read some of the comments and was mention of persons exposure to Agent Orange (Vietnam War). Please get in contact with your nearest Veterans Center so you can get coverage for your health needs. You earned it. If you can't drive then just call a center, they can mail the papers to you so you or your relatives can fill them out for you. And then mail them back. Good luck to everyone in your health problems, There are many others out there dealing with the same problems. At least you know you are not alone. And it could just be a medicine causing it or needed nutrition that will help you. Don't be afraid to see your Dr. God bless you all.
Family member says that her sister-in-law is two different people. She says that the one that married her brother is not the one that is in her home now. She has always lived with her sister-in-law Carolyn, but now she says there are two different Carolyn's. I know there is just one. Her brother died a number of years ago. We talk twice a week, and she always tells me it's the other Carolyn that's there. She also believes that people come and visit, when there is no one visiting. How do you describe this. Also has memory problems and constantly repeats what she tells me the day before. How can she be helped? Thank you.
My grandmother and great grandfather had early-onset Alzheimer's. My father shows some signs of it, but my two uncles have already been diagnosed. I have been suffering from some neurological issues for a few years now, and last week I had a major embarrassment at work (bank teller) where I could not work out change. My neuro is investigating. It's a hard thing to face. I have a wonderful husband and wonderful children. I feel at peace and if my progression were to follow the timing of grandma's I have many years ahead of me with high functionality. What has been helpful is the knowing. My husband and I can talk about stuff and he knows what's ahead. If it progresses quickly, then at least we have had the time that we have had together. I am thankful that I was able to learn many great truths in this life. I am thankful to be a mother and to have this knowledge now so that my children can have the preparation.
My grandfather is such a wonderful example for how to care for a wife with Alzheimer's. He kept her home until her bodily functions required medical attention. She was brought home to die with all her children around her for a full week. In the end she still recognized her favorite music and could move her toes to the rhythm.
I am only 39, but I am hopeful that I have several good years ahead of me. I am certain that knowledge will make it easier for my family to roll with the progression. :-)
I am having severe problems with memory. I volunteer as a veteran service officer and I work on cases with vets. I come in the next day and look at the desk and don't connect with any of the paper work or remember the fellow that was there yesterday. =Only yesterday I was working in my barn with horses and came up to the house and took a shower. I can't remember getting dressed but found myself at a desk staring at piles of papers and bills not connecting to anything on the table as mine. I had a panic attack and started rumaging the papers for a date, a thing i could relate to and then I looked around the room and it seemed familiar but I still wasn't connecting to the fact that i was in my house. I felt fear and panic and alone and thought i had been abandon when my wife came in and I did not remember whe told me she was going to town. I am worried and very concerned . I suffer from DVT, Conjestive heart failure and am 69 years old. I am on heavy meds for heart and have a clogged filter under my heart because of blood clots. I am on coumadin. What should I do. I was exposed to agent orange in vietnam and have clor achne and type II diabetes. I feel like I am disapearing in my own mind.
My mother had alzheimer's and it was difficult to notice because I have worked for bosses 50+ who were very forgetful but functional and my mother never was with short-term memory until the end. My mother did make me the scapecoat starting at about 70 years, was financially irresponsible and mean but she was so stubborn that she would fight the family when we tried to speak to her about spending plus her mother passed and then my father. It is a sad disease because you don't know it's coming until you have actually lost the person or a large part of them.
I suspect that there could be early stages of dementia/Alzheimer's in my wife but no one (including health professionals) is taking my concerns seriously. What can I do now?
I am afraid that my husband may be getting this, I don't know for sure, he always was very well kept, now if I can get him to shower once a week I am doing good, he will wear the same clothes for a week, with food stains, he can not remember what his Drs tell him,so I need to be with him. He has a habit that he just started about 6 mths ago, he will set and keep touching his self, even in front of people, his attitude is horrible, can be so nasty and everything is negitive, does not want to do anything. I keep praying it is not this.Linda
Roxy, The first thing you do is read everything you can about Alzheimer's. Being a long distant obsever is very difficult. You must learn what the Caregiver is going through by understanding the desease. Your are dealing with Alzheimer's not the person. I am a Caregiver for my husband and the first rule for a Carefiver is..."take care of yourself first". The Caregiver needs time out because of the great responsibility that they are taking on. In short they need a lot of help. They can not do it alone. There are many wonderful books on the subject andthe one I recomend is Gail Sheehy's Passages in Caregiving. You will learn more than you every knew to ask about.
Good Luck to you and God Bless.
I am a caregiver and have been a cna for 8 yrs now. Taking care of someone who has alzheimer's can be a difficult at times. At this time I am dong private in home care and one of my client's is in the 3rd stage. I have taken care of this person for only 6 months and have seen her decline drastically. At times I go outside and take a break and cry. This is not an easy thing for family and friends to handle and my best advise to anyone is please be empathetic. If you could just put yourself in their shoes for just an hour..Being confused, not knowing from one minute to the next what is going on..Can you imagine the fear and anxiety of this person..Also please feel blessed and just be there for this person..We are able to make decisions for ourselves and know where we are..how to get to the store and back..Both my parents were in wheelchairs due to polio and some take it for granted what we can do for ourselves..I thank God every day I can walk and do for myself. Without him I am nothing..To have him I can do all things..Hope this helps someone..God Bless and please do not give up..you can do this and you can hold your head up high knowing you can look in the mirror with a smile..I Peter 5:7 this is a good one..take care
To Mary of March 17, 2012: We live in a messed up world. Some may ask, "Why doesn't God do something about it?" He knows our needs and situations and does love us, and He has done something about it: He has given us His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus really did die for all people, rose from the dead, and invites each person to a relationship with Him. Choose to admit your need for reconc iliation to God (each one of us has sinned) and believe that Jesus accomplished that by His death and resurrection, and decide to be His follower. And start church shopping! There are people who will care for you and your family.
I would also like info on where I could be tested for early onset alzheimers. I am definieltely having memory problems, but still working. Care for parents with stroke &alzheimers plus kids may b a big factor. To the woman with husband in testing and child with disability. Talk to your local/nearest alzheimers association to find as much help/support as you can. Let your husband help as much as possible while he can. It will make him less depressed as well. He can do alot (cleaning!). I see a big need for assistance devices. Write instructions and tape them down so whe wont lose them, label everything with big letters (so he can put away). Write instructions for things like vacuum. I hope he can help with your son some. Call meals on wheels, you dont need to be poor or old to have them deliver meals. my heart goes out to you. Let the house be dirty, play music lots, eat easy foods, never ever feel guilty. If you dont have support group, make yourself hire a babysitter and go to support group. It will be hard to give so much with so little thanks.
My 60 year old husband is just starting the testing process for early onset Alzheimer's. We have a 21 year old son with Autism. My husband's mother had Alzheimer's, confirmed with an autopsy. My mother had vascular dementia and I was her caregiver for more than 15 years for her slow decline. She died in 2007. The next year my husband was laid off from his job of 23 years. He's had 2 more layoffs since then. I'm currently the full time "breadwinner" still taking care of my son who is pretty non-verbal. He lives with us and is supposed to have res-hab, but the agency never seems to find anyone to help. Now that my husband is starting the slow decline, I'm so exhausted, so burned out, so depressed and angry. It's completely agonizing waking up every day and having to go to work at 6:30 am just so I can get home at 3 pm to cook, clean, do laundry, get groceries and try to maintain the household. I have no other family.My sister committed suicide in 2006 after suffering bipolar disorder for more than 40 years. There's got to be a genetic connection to all of this. I don't know if I can handle all that I am going to have to manage for the next ten or twenty years. I met my husband when we were 11. We'll be married 34 years this year. We have no close friends, no family and we don't belong to a church or a community organization. My co-workers are all 20 years younger. I turn 60 this year. So much for the golden years. Caregiving was not my career choice. And no chance t
my Dad had Alzheimers-diagnosed in 2006. He was a type 2 diabetic since 1967. His mom died of Huntingtons Chorea in 1967. by October of 2011 he rarely formed a sentence, but he could smile and say HI. my Mom had to help him get dressed and she always had to take him to the bathroom so he wouldn't make a mess. she was a nurse, so she was a great caretaker, but did have help twice a week so that she could go out by herself. he always wanted to sit in his chair. but he also liked to go places in the car. at night he would be restless and finally my mom would take him to his room to sleep and she could tell that he was glad to be there. while the disease was progressing, there were times when he would cry because he coudn't form sentences, or find the words. it was hard to hear him say, "i'm so stupid, why am i so stupid?" and this was a man who had 2 Master's degrees, had a successful career as an Air Force officer and Federal employee. he raised 6 successful kids. we were all there the weekend that he died. he had a heart attack, fell on the steps and was screaming "i'm dying" as he clutched his chest. the ER doc said he only had a broken clavicle, when in fact it WAS his heart. the attack ruined his organs and he died 6 days later. the advance directive he signed with my Mom said "no resuscitation". I'm currently researching the link between Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes so that i can present at a meeting at my hospital. i pray for everyone wit
So, what does family do when demintia is suspected in a parent, but the parent lives 300 miles away and refuses to leave home to stay with one of us, or or an appropriate facility? At what point is it neglect on our part? And, why is the 'caretaker' not doing anything about it.
I never realized that things would change as fast and in a direction that I had no knowledge of. I have sat and cried until I had no tears left. I love my love and now I see so many things starting to fall apart around me. My wife and I have just adopted an 8 yo boy from Peru and I am so afraid that I will not be able to care properly for him. I have worked my entire adult life so that as we aged we could do those things we had dearmed of. Now, I realize that I may not be a big a part of my family and that I may even cause much heart ache in the near future. I love my family and children more than I can ever show. I know the burden they may have to endure, hopefully I will be able to show my love and they me there's. The Lord has given me a very bountiful life and loved ones who I life more than life, but not knowing it I will even recognize in the near future is so heart breaking, maybe the good lord will give me the strength and that I will need in the future. I wonder if there is a place when I know I need to go If there is a place I can go and face my end without any more hurt and tears. I hurt so much and I see in the faces of my loved ones that they are hurting and I can not face them in the state that I am heading towards. God Bless all of those who live with this most dilibitating disease. I pray that I can go quickly and not cause too much pain, sorrow, dispair.
I also truly believe that all the medications people are on have a tremendous effect on both mind and personality over time. Not that some meds aren't necessary,even critical to our well being such as antibiotics etc., also only when needed but many are not. And big pharma is making billlions of $$$ medicating us at younger and younger ages. Think about it. Some docs are actually starting to speak out against this and write books about it. Just look at some of the drugs that are found dangerous and removed from the shelves. I attended a symposium for CEU credits led by doctors mostly and other staff. In this particular state one now has to state whether one is affiliated with that drug company and all but ONE was affiliated with a particular drug company. This may mean free seminars for some without much more which may be harmless but it may also mean they invest in the product and want to see it make lots of money for them. But I have hope that before I leave this earth many will be exposed for what they are. I now ask my docs, when advised to take any medication for anythig if he/she is affiliated with the drug company and if so to what capacity.
The ten signs of Alzheimer's seem to be the symptoms I'm having. Where can i get tested?
I think you misunderstood by what she said is "typical". What is typical is what we all experience from time to time, such as misplacing our keys or glasses. A person with Alzheimer's might put their glasses in the refrigerator, or some unusual spot.
Your description of "typical" symtoms is very scary. Everyone I know, of any age, exhibits many of these symtoms "sometimes", "occasionally", "once in a while", etc. Cataracts obviously cause vision changes. Are you implying that cataracts are a symptom of Alzheimers?
My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's but tried to take the Aricept and it made him 10 times worse. The doctor says now that Dad is just one of those people who can't take the medicine for Alzheimer's. Sometimes I think that all the blood pressure, diuretics, blood thinners and diabetes medicines are "what causes the memory loss" in the first place!
I read in the paper today that scratching the head maybe an indicator. It is due to the chemical shifting in the scalp. My Mom had this terrible affliction early on in Altzheimers. This maybe another route to a cure???
My Wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago and she now will not get dressed and go to the doctor or beauty parlor which is very rare for her. This has been going on for 2 or more years. She has not been out of the house in 7 weeks. Is this normal?
To the person who's Mother is suffering from dizziness, fatigue and wanting to sleep all the time - she may be suffering with Meniere's Disease, a dizziness disorder often
associated with aging.
I see your posting was in March. It's now late May and you may not see this comment. Hoping you have found some answers by now.
Best of luck...Karene
murray To one reader who questioned the "smell of smoke". My Dad turned 100 years of age this year. I looked after him for years when he went thru. undiagnosed dementia.
For years he would smell smoke and get upset when no on else could. He also reckoned he could hear a dog barking all night when we couldn't. He became tyranical, which was strange for a mild mannered man.
i dont like the thought of that disease i wish that alzheimers was not a disease that was worth losing your memory for
Looking back I now reconize some of the early symptoms my Mother had.I see how hard emotionally it was for me(not that I regret the time i had with her)but fear what my children would have to go thru if i should develope it.I am now 63 and seeing what is typical I feel much better,that i don't have to worry right now over those little things.Thank you for this artical.I was once told that doing the best you can do is all you can do.Please except help when you can nearer the end a special nursing home was what was best for her and myself.The time we had was just visiting one on one and not trying to do all the other caring things. Just love her.
My father has moderate dementia, he lives in Calif with a live in. I have been trying to get him back here in MN to live with me but he keeps fighting me about the weather being to cold and that he gets cold easily because he is on coumandin, I am not particulary happy with his live in, she is not very motivated to do things with him. I have spoke to his doctor about this and he said there is nothing he can do about it except for me tell him the positve side of being with his family. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
Someone told me that it was discover that an early sign of Alzheimers's was freguent smelling of smoke when there is no cause.
My Mom has mid-stage I guess, alzheimers, and is also a type II diabetic. A little over a year ago it seems she suddenly was different. Got dizzy more than she sould have and started wanting to just sleep, all the time. She also suffers from depression since my brother died in 2004. She is on anti-depressants, diabetes and januvia for alsheimers for several (over 7) months now and still just wants to lay down and sleep. If we take her out for activities and keep her busy she does alright, but as soon as there's a chance to lie down she does and goes to sleep. Could there be something we're missing?
My Dad has got where he wants to sleep all day and at night he is wide awake being confused about different things. I prepare his meds and he is always confused about taking them. Sometimes he has hallucinations ( seeing his Mom & Dad which are deceased, then shuffling thru the house looking for them. He see's & feels things on his hands which are not there. Sometimes he gets mad & sulls & says things that don't make sense . My Dad was never one to get mad for nothing. His brother died from Alzhmeimers and his dad had some sort of dementia when he died. I am in between making up my mind to give my job up & be a less stressed caregiver. i am four years from retirement so it will be finacially hard . Ihave been told that its a decision i want ever regret. I hope i've got the strength to move forward and give my parents the care they need.
My Mother is 73 and I have noticed a big personality change since my Father passed in 04. She is extremely paranoid. She thinks that the neighbors are coming into her home whenever she is out and planting microphones and cameras. She thinks they watch her wherever she goes. She is extremely narcissistic and thinks that everything happens or doesn't happen as a result of her actions. She is under a great deal of stress as my 38 year old brother lives with her. He doesn't work, is bi-polar, and waits at the door for her to come home from work to muscle her into giving him money she doesn't have. She is very afraid of him and with good cause. Because of my brother and his past actions, my family will not go around my Mother to help her. I am all she has and I do not know who to turn to for help. We are a small family and I feel all alone.
my younger sister who is only 47 years old was just told she is in the early stage of Alzhmeimers. every one of my grandmothers brothers and sisters have died from this sickness and my grandmother is now in the late stage it. my mother died at 28 from a blood clot on her brain so i don't know if she would have had this awful sicknessto. now i'm so worried, i'm 49 and will be 50 this year, i think by looking at the symptoms listed that i may have it. but i also have a throid disorder, but of course does my sister and my grandmother. so anyway you look at it, i think i may be just completely out of luck. i have 10 grandchildren that i will not allow see me go like that. God help me.
my mom was diagnosed with normal (whatever that means) dimentia about 6 years ago but had a sister and brother die with Alzheimers. Now, she can't remember the islands we visited one and a half weeks ago on a cruise to the Carribbean. She said she can't remember where we stayed in Miami, how we got to the ship or back to the airport. Is this alzheimers or just dimentia? I am scared because she lives alone and repeats things over and over within a few minutes of each other. She seems to be able to take care of most things, but can't remember even little things-like when or if she paid some bill. Do I try to get her to get tested for alzheimers or what? I need help!! Also, she gets mad at me if she even thinks I went shopping without asking her and won't talk to me-even though I didn't go shopping. She seems to be so easily upset with me. I am the prime caretaker since my step dad died a year ago
This is very familiar. The only way my dad would give up his keys to the car was being told by a specialist that he had been diagonsed with dementia and that he should not drive because he might run over a child. Then we had to disable the car by putting a club on it and taking the key with us! I hope that you can take him to an assesment clinic or doctor (if he gets home that is!). You will see more signs of confusion in the future but your dad will not believe you, therefore, a doctor has to tell him. The sooner you can get him into a care home, the better it will be for everyone.
MY DAD GOT MAD AT MY SISTER AND LEFT ARKANSAS BECAUSE SHE DID NOT WANT HIM TO DRIVE TO MINNESOTA.HE SAID HE COULD .TOOK HIM 4 DAYS TO GET HERE.HE GOT LOST ,DIDN'T REMEMBER ANY OF THE HIGHWAYS.REALLY WORRIED US WE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE HE WAS.FINALLY HE CALLED.DOCTOR SAYS HE JUST A MILD CAUSE OF DENTINA BUT I REALLY WORRIED DOCTOR SAYS HE CAN DRIVE.SO HE WANTS TO DRIVE BACK TO ARK.REALLY NOT SURE WHAT TO DO.HE CAN'TREMMEBER TO TAKE HIS PILLS OR THE DAY OF WEEK,BUT HIS LONG TERM MEMORY IS GOOD.ANY ONE HAVE ANY IDEAS PLEASE HELP ME .HE THINKS HE YOUNG AND NOT OLD ,I'M AFRAID FOR HIM AND HIS SAFETY.
help! I am new to caregiving for my father. He definately has aging issues, we are trying to determine to what extent. My Question:
Should we discuss with him that he has early dementia or alzheimer's tell them this is what is happening ? Actually I think my dad has alittle more along than early alsheimer's and has just not discussed it. He is holding on for dear life and fighting for his independenace, which is great, but I am trying to get him to make plans for his future living and needs Hewill not. I am wondering if I need to tell him what I think is going on -- alzheimer's --and we need to make plans now for the future. Help! Please advise me how to let him know or not know. His doctor has already given him meds for alzheimer's but he does not know what they are except to "help his memory" Should I get a new doctor?
To PJ, who posted on September 14th: Although I don't mean to offer medical advice (I am NOT a doctor), you might perhaps be experiencing an obsession syndrome of Obsessive Compulsive Disoreder (OCD). When you write that you can't stop spelling over and over, are you afraid that something bad will happen if you do stop? That would sound like OCD. Good luck in getting past this.
I am sixty five years old and just at present I feel one hundred and sixty five years old. I lost my mother four years ago after caring for her and my dad for fifteen years. My mother died of emphasemia and osteoporosis and it hit me hard. My poor dad had a stroke at seventy three which started the dementia and slowly over the next fifteen yrs we had to watch him slowly deterioate.Eventually he had to go into a care home as it became impossible to look after them both, and dad had become doubly incontinent. The last two years of his life was not living, continually falling and pulling out his catheter and being rushed to A and E because of the bleeding. On one occasion he got sceptacemia and we were told he would not pull through but the fighter that he was he did. the worst insult were the times he was hospitalised and there was not enough staff to care for him or the knowledge to do it. My brother and I used to take it in turns to go and feed him and give him his medication.He struggled on for another two years before blessedly the good lord ennded his struggle on this earth.
My husband who is fifteen years older than me had a T I A a month after retiring at sixty five I prayed he wouldn't get like my dad but no one has answered my prayers. Slowly he has got worse and now after my dad died eighteen months ago things are happening fast. I pray for the strength to get me through this but i can only look forward with dread to what has to come.May god bless all who suffer.
Both of my parents died from Alzheimers. My mother was worse than my dad, and I think that is because he was diagnosed and put on Aricept sooner than she was. They were in the same nursing home and my mother became zombie-like. She went down hill very quickly. It got to where she couldn't speak, would only stare at us. Towards the end, she "forgot" how to eat and within a few days she died. We were happy that she went to Heaven instead of the suffering she did on earth. My dad lived a few more years, he always knew who we were and could tell us all about his childhood, but couldn't remember what he had for lunch. He is now in Heaven with my mother. God bless all of you who are dealing with this horrible disease. It took my mother's spirit. We actually lost her long before she died.
After reading the warning signs on this site, I realize my mother may have Alzheimer's. The main issue is suspicion and hiding things. She has fired 2 aides back to back who have helped her in her home recently. She cites things "stolen", and I find them in the strangest places. She is convinced they are part of a crime ring. When I locate and then present the "stolen" items, she becomes angry with me...I become "the bad guy". I have been very good to my mother all of my life, and she is tuning against me. Is it common for them to turn against the one they love the most?
I have a problem repeating the spelling of words in my mind, (not out loud) feels like hundreds of times. Then I will pick out another word to spell from what I am thinking and spell it over and over until I want to scream. I can not stop. Even when someone is speaking to me I will pick one of their words and spell it to myself to the point that I miss their entire conversation. Could this be a sign of Alzheimers?
I am a 15 year old teen. I constantly loose alot of my things and canot remember where i put em or the last time i had em. its crazy because when i read the symptoms i have all of em. from unable to complete simple task to not speaking correctly. is it possible for me to have this disease or am i dealing with something else?
My step-aunt had an inflammatory encephalitis 4 years ago that left her hospitalized. Since then, a progression of obvious changes are occurring. Initially she could not read a clock or balance a checkbook. Also, she began to "jumble" conversations and her "personalilty" became altered. I see her every few months. These symptoms are rapidlt changing into confusion during eating, loss of conversation engagement, inability to articulate a complete sentence without loss of volume/tone/ and word pronounciation. There is a moderate loss of facial expression and a complete loss of conversation instigation. She is 65. Her "room-mate" of 40 years has started "speaking for her" and they are actively having her throid examined, and today, needle-biopsy. She is either nieve about the condition, in denial, or searching for less profuse answers. I am a licenced health-care practioner and a college anatomy teacher. I can see the early writing on the wall ...
I never ever thought that I would be dealing with this dreaded disease. My mother is 89 and is in the advanced stages of alzheimers. Who would ever think that this would happen to her. She was a gifted woman in her own right and to see the disease taking over her life is very hard to take. I am frustrated, as I am the one that is being treated as if I was the "bad guy" in this whole thing. I have been treated with suspicion and have not been treated like the daughter that I am. That is probably the hardest part to understand. I have researched this subject and have a hard road ahead of me. Just being able to write down my thoughts is helpful. What kind of answers are there..it is such a grim trail to be on. My mother is disappearing and this stranger has taken over her body. She thinks that all we are out to do is to put her into a home; that is her biggest fear at this time and place. That is not my intention, but I'm sure that will be addressed sooner than later. My grandmother died in a nursing home, so I know that plays on her mind. Is that going to be the final option; I don't know. I will just do my best to cope day by day, for now.
I guess I am in the "worn-out caregiver group". This is worse than having a wound that won't heal. I never had a severe illness that did not heal. We need all the help we can get, PLUS a means to release the frustration or anger. My way is to bike up hills to exhaustion. (NOT max heart rate as it might kill me).
First time testimony.
Today, we had to take her phone out. It broke my heart as it is the only link to her family. Now we won't know when she is freaking out or just needs reassurance. She doesn't remember most of the family now(it doesn't help that they don't come often). I don't care if they'ld rather remember her as she was...She needs love and reassurance. You should see her smile a mile wide when someone brings her a baggie of hershey kisses or figbars. She still knows how to play piano by ear even though she begins with one song and ends with another. I need to go to a group session for help to handle the guilt and know better how to handle the nursing home who never calls me when shes sick or when they change her meds. I guess that's another blog for bad or neglectful nursing homes. Dear Lord help us all.
My mom is 88 and although diagnosed with frontal dementia, I believe it is Alzheimers. 8 years ago she started getting really anxious when my dad would just leave to empty the trash and would give family items away. 6 years ago she was a lot worse and would be very anxious even if my dad went into the bathroom and was forgetful. 4 years ago she stopped bathing and cleaning and repeatedly asked same questions over and over and anxious if my dad left her side. 3 years ago we had to put her in a nursing home because my dad could not take care of her and his health is not good(congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, several heart attacks, anemia). She refused to bathe and only ate about a tablespoon of food at meals, my dad had to sit right beside her with no space between and hold her hand. Now she calls my dad, my brother and I repeatedly thru the day and every five minutes in the middle of the night asking why she's there and when is someone coming to take her home. Sometimes she calls during the day and asks is it day or night. Lately she is fustrated because she dials a number and she says the recording says she needs to dial more numbers. Last week I got a collect call from her so we went to the home to see what the problem was...she thinks she's pushing the hangup button so she can redial but she is pushing the operator whichcauses it to be collect. Also a nice man tracked her phone # to the nursing home and asked that something be done because she's been calling.
I am 56 and have been diagnosed with early on set of alz. I have been fighting with the disease and getting proper diagnosis for a year now. I have finally been stable for the last three weeks and feel great right now. I know that this will change in time. I have been on aricet and namenda now for over 4 months and I also take an antidepressent. It has been a VERY, VERY difficult time for my family. My husband has been great and alll my children and very supportive. The diagnosis has been very divestating for me. I have gone through depression, denial, anger and the other signs for loss. The thing that everyone should keep in mind is do not give up on the individual and love them for who they are now. The future maybe bright for me because they caught it early and there still maybe a cure. Please do not give up and do things in very little steps instead of giant steps that I was used to doing. I had to quite working and stay at home but I am now going back and trying out different social things.
My dad is almost 91. His Doctor says he just has old age forgetfulness type dementia, but he has nearly all the signs of level one to level two altzheimer's. He also does not want to bathe, change clothes, or help outside. He was always such an active person and now he is content to let the world go by, watching from his chair. He worries about losing control, so I just don't say anything. I just make sure he takes his pills and eats properly. Sometimes he flies off the handle if he is not quite sure what is going on. Is this "just" dementia?
My mother had demintia, it was slow prgessing and we accepted it as part of her personality. Now I believe it was both Dem. & Alz. A good book to read is STILL ALICE
By Lisa Genova. It will answer questions and it will scare some of us. From prospective Pts. of these conditions, and for family members. It will help both understand and maybe ease the uncertianty. Unfortunitly if one does have one of these, no matter which one, the out come will be the same the only thing one has any control over is how you live the rest of your life and the value you place on everyday. God bless all of us.
Does anyone know if the memory problem (only one of many that I have) whereby you sometimes believe something happened and then find out that it definitely didn't, and so you surmise you must have dreamt it, is significant amongst Alzheimer's symptoms?
I am currentally taking care of my mom with dementia. She seems more claim if I stay home with her. If I take her anywhere to the store or even to get gas. She becomes agitated and angry throughing a fit everythime I take her anywhere. Is this part of dementia?
My dad is having these symtoms. He went to first doctor but refuses to get more testing. He gets very iratable when he thinks things are out of control. How can the family convince him to get more testing.
I am 57- have noticed odd changes, especially short term memory and misplacing stuff, put papers in the oven. I read a lot and it seems to me to match the info I've read about EAD. My Mom has dementia- who knows what kind... she's 83 and going strong though forgets a lot- still functional.
I am in the middle of arranging for testing. I am single, and have no close caregiver. I am TERRIFIED about losing everything I have worked a lifetime to building- which isn't so much- but it is all I have- a little home, kitties, some friends, etc. Freedom and control top the list... Has anyone managed this as a single person? the lprospect of loss of all dignity and control even over my bodily functions makes me NUTS. The unknown progression - short ? 3 years? how long as myself functional and able to work?
I would love to hear from firstname.lastname@example.org
Aggghhhh. OK, now I see "typical" explanation. Maybe I still need to worry. Anyway, please fix the "Comment" button problem. Others will appreciate that.
Now... MAYO, PLEASE FIX TWO THINGS!
FIRST ... in the 10 warning signs, it is unclear, at least to me, if "typical" means that is typical of one WITH Alz, or if it is meant to provide "typical" difficulties expected with age, not Alz. I guess, but hope not, the former. Please modify the page to explain if "Typical of Alzheimer's patients" or non-patients.
SECOND ... when I clicked on "comment" I did not get comment box. Over and over. I was about to leave page (wondering again about my mind) when I found the comment box waaaay up above at the top of the comments. Clicking "comment" just moved my screen up into the bottom comment (a couple of inches up). Visitors here need all the help we can get : ) Please fix.
I was so lucky the zinc story broke when it did. I don't know how I would have known what the culprit was if not (but I dern sure woudn't have taken any more supplements 'till I did : )
I had many other symptoms ... some I can't remember now : )?
You must be careful of those highly fortified "super cereals". A "very healthy" diet, like I love, contains "plenty" of zinc alone. Often OTC cold remedies have it.
The color is even back in my skin (it causes anemia). It nearly killed me ... it, or by my own hand. I can think again. My balance is so much better. I'm not sure it will all go away completely, but I can settle for this. I can think and talk again.
Oddly, this is the second life-threatening dietary poisoning I've had in the last 10 years. The first was due to my great love of vegetables (!) ... which I cut down to my very favorites when I had to do my own.
I love them so much. I'd eat 2 servings of broccili with my breakfast (I don't really eat "breakfast" ... just another meal to me). I'd eat 3-5 servings at each meal.
Trouble was, all my favorites were "brassicas" ... broccili, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, all the greens (mustard, turnip, kale, collard). Believe it or not, they are all related, and all those anti-cancer elements they contain can be poison if U OD
I am so sorry for those who truly have Alz. I post this here just in case someone, too, has that fear like I did and this makes a diffe
Three years ago I began to have increasing symptoms that were very remeniscent of those, ^ steadily, along with (Jill, et al) a draining of muscular strength that was very marked, and EXTREME disorientation, especially increasing with time in an unfamiliar place (grocery store was the worst, re amount of "information" I guess). Severe confusion some times. Conversation ^ difficult at times.
My balance almost quit entirely: much time could hardly stand up, and rarely I couldn't.
Strangely I also had ^ numbness in feet, to severe, and ^ tingling in legs.
Widowed and alone (family in other cities) and without a diagnosis.
I went to take care of my older parents two months ago. I was hoping they would not last much longer because I did not want to become a burden to them.
I forgot to take my usual vitamin supplements with me, and did not want to go to the expense of getting them there. Two weeks after, my symptoms all began to improve rather dramatically. Within days of noticing that, the headlines about zinc poisoning from denture creams came out, and there was a lot of overlap.
Trouble is, I was not wearing dentures. HOWEVER, I was supplementing Calcium (Dr. rec. THREE YRS BEFORE), + magnesium re constipation from Calcium. The magnesium supp had zinc in it. I took a multivite with zinc. I drank up to 2 cans of "Ensure" a day ... with zinc. Just that was 5-6 RDAs of zinc a day ... + food. APPARENTLY THAT WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME. In two months I'm 80% better
I live in Australia and am about to turn 55. When my mother was 65 she was diagnosed as being in the middling stages, we had noticed changes from 5 years earlier. My grandmother (Mum's mother) and her twin sister both died of Alzheimer's. Two of my mother's cousins are currently afflicted, as was her brother. When he diagnosed Mum, the gerentologist told my sister and me that we had a 70% chance of also getting it. Each birthday now feels like a toll sounding as i cannot see a future beyond 65. Mum and Nanna lost the ability to function at all once they turned 66, yet they lived (for want of a better word) till their mid 70's. My family members suffered horribly, their memories took them to cruel and fearful places that we couldn't retrive them from. My grandmother's suffering and death irretrevibly damaged my mother as her's did to me. How could i possible put my loved ones through such agony. Quite simply, i can't and i won't. My close friends understand and support me but my family are in denial. It makes me feel very alone. I believe giving us the legal option of being able to access euthinasia when the time comes would give us much comfort. I do not want to break the law, but i want to die humanely and with dignity. It would also provide doctors, nurses and beds for patients with curable illnesses, something i'd much prefer. Does anyone agree?
What is the best way to deal with the Power of Attorney, Guardian, 1st born Son, when he fails to visit, contact, or write to his own parents after putting them into an Assisted Living Home for Alzheimers because he feels that they are "cognitive impaired and delusional" and not the parents he remembers?
My Parents would have benefited better staying at home and having care givers and meals on wheels. Dad was active and happy doing house and yard work, now he feels like he is incarcerated, because he can't do anything and none of the other Residents can communicate much less know where they are, except my Mother.'
Mom and Dad spend a lot of time in their Room together and can't interact with the other Residents because the other Residents "can't talk or can't hold a conversation, much less even know where they are". Many of the Residents are total care, and there are a few that are spoon fed.
It seems that my Folks have to wait for the Staff to settle the others or get them up and dressed in the morning, before they give my Folks their Medications.
Being in a Dementia Home, I have noticed, as has my Mother, that the Staff will say something to my folks and then forget to follow through with their statements and we believe it is becaue they feel that because it is a Dementia Unit, that if the Staff forgets, no big deal. It is a big deal when my folks are getting played and neglected by the Staff.
I need some help with how to deal with my Family and the Nur
First I want to say may all being impacted with this disease be blessed. I truly believe Alzheimers is extremly challenging, the worst disease ever...My Grandfather was diagnosed two years ago and it is so hard now. More so because he refuses to understand and believe he has it. I can not get him an aide because he refuses them in the home. Can't relocate him because it will take away what little normalcy he has. I feel so burned out and helpless. What is worse is that all of my family members are not on the same page! He lives alone...and some treat him as if he is "normal". I end of looking like a nagging mom which he resents. This site is very informative and helpful. Thank you.
Excellent site! I, myself, have been diagnosed with the early stages of Alheizmer's. I am presently on Aricept. I am 75 years old, white female, widowed, live alone. I can see small differences in my memory, etc., but so far, not much showing. I have two daughters, one lives close, the other about 150 miles away. Both have been very attentive and helpful. I live alone, use the computer, daily, to be in touch with both of them. I am encouraged to see your website. Will keep up to date on it.....perhaps those who have the disease can be the BEST ones to help us see it in ourselves and know what helps most. Thank you!
Recently I was vacationing with my family in Oregon. I am a 66 yr old female. I was told by my husband and family that I begin acting strangely in the AM and didn't know where I was or how I got there, although I knew all the people vacationing with me. I was taken to the hospital for blood tests and a CAT scan. I do not remember any of these events? The doctor told my husband I had Transcient Global Amnesia. I can't help but wonder if this TGA and the daily headaches for a week or so prior aren't symptoms of something more serious? Help? Confused.
Hi. My mother inlaw is 82 a brittel diabetic, and on dialysis, she been on dialysis for 2 yrs...I'm not sure what the differents between dementa and Alzheimer's disease, her memory has gotten worse, she repeats herself over and over and this can go on for 15 mins or till i leave the room and come back try to change subject, and alot of time she just dont say nothing she still dress and has good hygene but when I say something to her she forget a sec later so i end up repeating my self to her, and there are so many times i'm not sure if she dreamt things then come and tell me thing that just happen but it didt so how and what do i do
It's important to remember, most of these symptoms can also be ascribed to other pschological and neurological diseases. Depression would be a huge one. Has the person just experienced the loss of a family member (this could also be a beloved pet), a long held job, a change in housing? Have they recently changed a medication, a supplement? Experienced any sort of head trauma? Get all the facts and ask, ask ask, then ask again. My mother eventually died of Alzheimers, but it is still my opinion to this day, that none of the factors that contributed to loss of function were ever addressed once the diagnosis was made. Ask questions about any medication. My mom was diagnosed long before Ronald Reagan announced he had been, and I remember her turning to me afterward and saying, with total clarity of thought, that's what they say I have, isn't it? Don't worry Mom I said, you'll way outlive him. She did, pre-Aricept. Research is happening, hang in there.
I just turned 60 and strange things are happening here at home and I fear that there is nothing that I can do about it . It scares me
This is one of my greatest fears with aging. I follow every article that is published on this subject. So far I only have some memory loss, such as forgetting names and misplacing things. I only pray that I don't eventually have full blown Alxhiemers.
Oh, and I also have horrible depth perception and ability to judge distances...if that helps any. I'm exhausted all the time because it feels like it takes so much energy to function normally.
I am only 28, but I am very concerned about my memory. I used to be sharp as a tack, but I have the hardest time remembering things and have gotten kind of lost on the way home before. I've left my keys in my car (with the car running) for about an hour. I also do normal things like forgetting where my glasses are, but one time left my wallet in the freezer. I have to really repeat things that I'm going to do or where I'm going to place things in hopes of remembering them.
I get frustrated so easily now because I see things people don't (speaking of my changes). It's now a challenge to be witty and charming because it's hard to think of comebacks on the fly.
I recently sent an email at work not realizing I didn't even finish it! I don't know what's wrong with me, but I don't like it one bit and am embarassed to talk about it with anyone.
I was diagnosed 2 yr. ago. Have it in both sides of my brain. Before Arcipet I was so confused after getting out of my regular routine. Having retired from one job and starting a new pt job locally I discovered I could not handle the simpleist job requirements on a daily basis. I was so frustrated and got no support from my supervisor after saying they would work with me. They expected my seeing a dr. and taking medication I would be fine overnite. I cried through every day. Finalyy I dold them it was not working out. It was the most horrible experience emotionally, physically, and mentally. My Dr. was very good about telling me not to take it personally. I was a very organized, meticulous person. Well this all changed very fast. I work pt at a local pharmacy with very caring people. I am now feeling the stress from daily life. I work hard at keeping myself going, but it is getting harder. My spouse and daughter are still in denial. I finally got my husband to go to my Dr. appointments thinking this would help him understand what I am dealing with instead of telling me everyone does this..... I feel I need someone to talk to and confide in about my situation and health issues. I am considering quit working altogether per my doctors recommendation. This is scary to me too. I have worked since I was 10 and just turned 66.
my sister was diagnosed with alzheimers 2 years ago at the age of 56. trying to find out if it is true that it progresses faster when you are younger. Also, she has very poor depth perception. does anyone know if this is a symptom also?
I am concerned that my husband is showing some signs and read through all the comments posted. I will pray for each of you and wanted to let Dale who posted on 11/4/09 know that I am very concerned about his last statement and hope that things are looking up for him.
Dear Shaida, I'm so sorry you are both suffering at the same time. As for not being heard, get a second and even a third dr opinion if necessary. Check the Alzheimer Org website and call their 24/7 hotline (800-272-3900). They're wonderful and will listen! Bipolar disorder, as I understand it, doesn't suddenly happen, it must've gone undiagnosed til now. Take care of yourself and get the necessary meds asap. Then you can better care for your loved one. Explain your desperation to his siblings and ask for help. No one can bear this alone. No one.
I read about a new therapy for Alzheimer's Disease in the Oct. 2009 issue of Health & Healing by Dr. Julian Whitaker. Dr. Mary Newport started giving her husband this treatment that she discovered. After giving him the first dose, a "light switch" went on. Dr. Newport started giving her husband non-hydrogenated coconut oil, as she didn't realize that refined MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil was available. Her husband now takes 4 teaspoons of MCT oil and 3 teaspoons of coconut oil three times a day with meals to ensure that his brain has access to a more or less constant source of energy. Her husband at age 59 has early onset Alzheimer's and will never return to his previous job as a bookeeper but has shown much improvement.
According to Dr. Whitaker coconut oil does not raise cholesterol or in any other way increase risk of heart disease. The reccommended dose of MCT's for neurodegenerative disorders is 20 g per meal (7tsp or a scant 2 and a half tablespoons.) Dr. Newport's recipe is to combine 16 ounces of MCT oil plus 12 ounces of coconut oil,store at room temperature (it gets hard when refrigerated), and use as needed. To avoid diarrhea, start with 1-2 tsp per meal and build up gradually. Some people only tolerate lower amounts. Coconut oil contains no omega-3 essential fatty acids, so a minimum of 2 g of fish oil should also be taken daily. To order MCT oil call (800-810-6655) . Dr. Newport's W
Many of the signs listed can be (and some even more so) signs of other disorders including Lewy Body, frontal lobe problems, and depression. The list does not delineate early from late stage symptoms making it even more confusing to readers.
Very informative article.
a direct response to kim. My wife is in menopause, and is on some drugs (for depression). From both of these she exhibits some of the symptoms in the list (maybe even all at one time or another) but it is clear she does not have the level of cognitive impairment that is concerning. Remember (ha-ha), as we age it takes more work to remember things. Loss of function in menopause is, as I understand it, not unusual and does not bear a warning for the future. Just my two bits.
just because you may be experiencing alittle of this going into menopause, does this mean you may be likely to have ALS later?
This article is right on! Thanks you. My husband, age 54, has just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. I've known that something wasn't right for some time, but wasn't sure what. We did all the testing, twice. Mayo is finally the place that was brave enough to say the words. He is already at moderate stages. Be alert, ask questions, demand a visit with the doctor and be sure you (spouse/significant other) go with. There is so much to be done quickly while he can legally sign things. Don't waste a minute. Personally... I'm devastated and trying to cope. This wasn't in the plans. I feel robbed of 25 years of life together!!
My partner suffered a head injury in 1971 and I met him in 1979. He began to have occasional seizures, later developing to uncontrolled and cluster ones. Eventually, his seizures were brought under control, but sadly too late to stop him from sustaining further brain damage.
Over the last 5 years I have noticed strange and out of character behavior that are sometimes dangerous. However, the neuropsychologist refuses to give it a name, when it is crystal clear what the dreaded diagnosis is called.
Most of the time I feel alone, unheard and hopeless for his and my future. I am also very angry for the deception. One year ago I was hospitalised for 28 days under the section 2 of mental health act as the result of relentless anxiety and lack of support. Despite this nothing has changed, bar I now have a name for my own mental health problem: Bipolar disorder. Sometimes, I feel the only way out of this misery is for both of us to die at the same time and soon as I do not wish him having to fall into the hands of unscrupulous people. His siblings are sitting on his inheritance and give him only a handout which is of little use. What can I do?
Anyone who has seen the results of a wrong diagnosis in the case for example, of LewyBody Dementia would be as worried as I am about using the "A" word in place of "Dementia". However, as there are so many different types, I have no idea how to remedy this problem.
I found this article helpful and comforting. My grandmother died of Alzheimer's and my 73 year old mother is in a nursing home with it. I'm 49 and think every time I forget something I'm getting it. That's why this helps. So do the comments from all of you -- especially the ones about pushing for help early. And Don, I admire what you are doing for yourself -- not to worry about your spelling. What you have to say is relevant and important and I am impressed with you taking charge and doing all you can to keep this at bay.
Have all 10 (first noticed some of at age 69 - now 74) and a family history (my mother's side). "Mild cognitive imparement" based on a 1 on 1 test. Four years of memory testing, will participate in the 17 Nov National Screening Day again. They have data from each year and wondering if we can charactorize the slope of the curve - is it linear and we can do some projections or is it the "slippery slope" curving downward as it feels to me. In either case there seems to be no cure in sight.The effectiveness of delaying action is vague at best, but it gives me something to do: brain excersize, physical fitness, and medication - Aricept (I was fortuniate enough to participate the the Aricept Trials, and could tell with the first pill that I didn't have the placebo) and an off lable application of Bupropion 450 mg/day. It certainaly provides mental stimulation but I know of no tests that support the idea that it may be effective. Anybody found something else that "seems to do some good"? Sorry about the spelling but it's hard enough to find the words let alone be able to spell them. I'll check with the Dentist about my fillings but looking it seems to be all gold crowns. "Here's thinking of you" - Don
Both my Grandmother and Mother died from parkinsons dementia. I am 57 and it is my greatest fear. To make matters worse,in 1999 i was hurt in a head on collision and had a traumatic brain injury. The minute i START TO forget things, I am leaving this world.......
The article is somewhat ambiguious. Is the author speaking of symptoms of "Alzheimer's disease" pe se or dementia in general? The is a matter of some importance to me, where I have been diagnosed with small vessel ischemic deep white matter disease, which may lead to "mild cognitive impairment" or - worst case - vascular dementia.
Just this week with all of the attention being paid to former NFL players, there have been articles about how people are now being more careful in throwing around the term "Alzheimer's disease" so as not to confuse it with other forms of dementia. It would be unfortunate if someone writing on behalf of the Mayo Clinic did not meet that standard of clarity.
The most dangerous risk for Alzheimers is mercury poisoning the fillings in your teeth people. If a dentist goes public with this info the A.D.A pull their licence that day. Dentists have 10 times the risk of early Alzheimers then the average population sample. people with out mercury based fillings usely do not develop signs of degenerative impairment until the late 80's or 90's
Take any noticeable sign of Alzheimer's and PUSH PUSH Push for help. Many Dr's will say...it is just aging..we will wait and see. Many family members say ..well, I will let my love one decide! NO..do it yourself. Over 7 years ago, I suspected some signs of alz. w/hubby. I went through the hoops and pushed to get him in to see a Dr. (He didn't want to go...I found an excuse) Gave the written info to the nurse and she passed it on to the Dr before the Dr came into the exam room. Our Dr. didn't hesitate...next visit to a neurolgist..the normal testing to rule out other problems disease followed. Then Aricept, later Namenda..later nerve pills. My husband still is able to walk the neighborhood, recognize friends/family...most everyone's names are gone, He sleeps well, He feeds himself, cannot stay alone but he is doing well.
MY Message is push if there is any sign...push your love one push your Dr. With help we are "doing good" at this point. He is 77 years old!!!!
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