Warning Signs of Alzheimers Disease & What You Should Do Next

It’s difficult to recognize people with Alzheimers disease. Especially when it comes to someone at an early stage of the disease. This happens because the first symptoms and signs are often dismissed. An important thing to know is that dementia does not affect everyone who gets older. Some 90-year-olds are still very ‘aware’, but not everyone is that lucky and suffers from the first symptoms before their 50th birthday.

alzheimers disease

Having Difficulty Remembering Things

Memory loss is one of the first and best-known symptoms of Alzheimers disease. In the early stages, someone often forgets important dates and events, and people he or she has recently met. As the disease progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember things. The older one indeed becomes, the more one ‘forgets’ and can remember at a later time. This is what makes the difference between Alzheimer’s and old age. As for Alzheimer’s, you have permanently lost the information and as for old age, you just need a brief moment to remember.

Having Difficulty Finding the Right Words

This too is an early sign that your memory is letting you down because of Alzheimer’s. Initially, it is difficult to find words that someone does not use often, but the further the disease progresses, the more words are difficult to find. Even the most simple words, like apple or cheese, can be a daunting task for someone who’s suffering from (the early stages of) Alzheimer’s disease. Again, it is more common for older people (without dementia) to not be able to find certain words, but they will manage to find the right words eventually. If someone lost the word, this may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Having Difficulty Finishing Daily Activities

For someone in the early days of Alzheimers disease, it becomes difficult to perform the usual daily tasks. Think of simple things such as taking medication several times a day or writing a shopping list. But the older we get, the more forgetful, right? So what is the difference between someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or is simply forgetful? Well, older people who do not suffer from this disease may occasionally need help with everyday things, such as shopping, but they do not forget to take their medication and can also cook independently because they do not forget to turn off the stove – which is very dangerous – when they’re done cooking dinner.

Getting Lost

Alzheimers disease at an early stage also ensures that an affected person can no longer remember how he or she should walk, cycle, or drive to a familiar place. He or she can not remember the way he or she came and how to get back and can therefore get lost. On the other hand: getting lost in a place where you have not been around for centuries or a place that is hard to find, can happen to anyone. Even young people, so make sure you recognize the difference. The big difference is that someone with Alzheimer’s can also get lost on his daily (routine) walk or when he/she walks in the supermarket, even if the person has been buying his groceries there for decades.

alzheimers disease

Having Difficulty with Finances

People who suffer from an early form of Alzheimer’s disease often forget to check and execute their expenses, taxes, and other financial tasks. So if you visit a loved one and you suspect that he or she suffers from early Alzheimers disease, you might want to check that he or she is keeping up with their mail. If not start checking the mail pile for unpaid bills, (first or second) notices, reminders to file tax returns, or maybe even bailiffs letters.

Personality and/or Mood Swings

Someone with early Alzheimer’s disease can become anxious, depressed, paranoid, or even aggressive, even if there are no clear reasons for it. If you notice that your loved one changes mood quickly, then it is time that you pay attention to whether he or she is also suffering from other Alzheimer’s disease signals.

Losing Track

Inability to follow (difficult or different) storylines, having difficulty in following a conversation, or forgetting what he or she is about to say in the middle of the sentence, can be signs of early Alzheimer’s disease. If it only happens occasionally, for example during a boring conversation and eventually losing focus, there is probably no reason to worry. Often you will see that a person has lost interest and will focus on other things, such as another conversation, the kids, or the pet. The worse the disease gets, the worse the symptoms will be until he or she will withdraw completely and does not start a conversation with anyone again.

alzheimers disease

Forgetting Where You Left Things

It regularly happens that people with early Alzheimer’s disease put things in strange places and do not know where they left them afterward. If you find a scattered cup or the car keys in the fridge instead of in the kitchen cupboard or a table: do not worry. Does it happen more often or with different items? It may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. Also pay attention to whether someone buys things that he or she still had in the house, but had forgotten where they were stored. For example, he or she is convinced that they have run out of biscuits, so they have to buy a new roll. While the biscuits are just stored in the pantry instead of in the biscuit jar.

Apathy Is a Symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease

People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to be socially withdrawn and give up their hobbies and other activities because it is harder for them to understand the world and communication with and between others. Older people can withdraw from some activities for various reasons. Often, “a lack of energy” is the reason. Is there another cause, such as a communication problem or losing track of the conversation? It might be Alzheimer’s disease.

Trouble With Planning and Problem-Solving

People with Alzheimer’s disease often show problems when it comes to following directions. It will probably start with having difficulty with bigger plans of action, like planning birthday parties or planning a trip. Over time, even smaller things become harder, such as following easy and/or regular recipes, like brownies. Even familiar tasks someone has always done on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis can become harder. Things like maintaining bills/checkbooks and taking medicine. Routines become blurry.

alzheimers disease

Poor Judgement

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, people often notice that they have more trouble with decision-making. Issues in the decision-making process and judgment are often seen with finances or trusting the wrong people. For example, it is often seen people with Alzheimer’s disease suddenly make large donations to telemarketers. Should you suspect that your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, be sure to keep a close eye on his or her finances. So that he or she doesn’t get scammed.

Paranoia, Delusions, and Hallucinations

People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease often lose their grip on reality. They might experience paranoia and delusions. For example, people with Alzheimer’s are often suspicious of their caregivers or even family members. They might accuse them of abusing or mistreating them in any other way, while that might not be true. It’s also often seen they think other people are trying to kidnap, steal from, or hurt them. A more progressed form of these delusions is hallucinations. At this point, you might start seeing and hearing things that are not there.

Loss of Awareness of the Surroundings

It is often seen that persons with Alzheimer’s disease lose their awareness of their surroundings. They might not notice visitors anymore, and start to turn more into themselves. They usually lose their sense of time and reality and start hallucinating more. It will become quite difficult to communicate with them at this point. When you suspect this is happening, try to get him or her more involved.

Obsessive and Repetitive Behavior

People with Alzheimer’s disease usually become frustrated, leading to behavior with which they try to hold on to their old patterns and habits. This leads to obsessive behavior and the repetition of certain actions. This can be a lot of different things: some people simply start cleaning obsessively. Others start to obsess over their family members and start calling them many times a day.

alzheimers disease

Loss of Bladder Control

If you think that Alzheimer’s disease only affects a person mentally, you couldn’t be further from the truth. As Alzheimer’s gradually changes the brain, the ability to hold pee in usually gets affected, causing the person to become incontinent. This is called urinary incontinence. Besides that, people with Alzheimer’s often stop realizing they have to go to the toilet, so it’s often too late when they finally go to the toilet. Which is called functional incontinence. Of course, this is very embarrassing for the person in question, so a little tip: act normal, help him/her change (if the person lets you), and start a conversation about how this could happen and if it happened before.

Physical Problems

At some point – in the advanced stages of this disease – people with Alzheimer’s disease start losing control over certain parts of their bodies. This can cause several things, such as difficulty swallowing, becoming incontinent, having trouble walking, and becoming wheelchair-bound. At this point, this person will need help with tasks like using the toilet, walking, eating, and drinking. Now, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia has long been diagnosed.

Sleep Problems

With Alzheimer’s disease, having difficulty sleeping is very common. A person with Alzheimer’s disease will probably wake up more often and have trouble sleeping in. However, you should know that people with Alzheimer’s disease are known to sleep a lot more in general than usual. As they become weaker, sleep becomes more important. Sometimes the day and night patterns turn around since they can’t sleep at night and become so tired that they have to sleep during the day.

Troubled Speech and Language

Having trouble with speech and language is called aphasia and is a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease. You might notice joining in on conversations becomes harder and you have trouble finding the right words. It starts small; you do not know a word now and then. People with Alzheimer’s disease often become highly frustrated because of their troubled speech, since they find it harder to express their feelings. In a more progressed stage, you might experience constant trouble in composing sentences.

alzheimers disease

Weakened Immunity System

People with Alzheimer’s Disease are more likely to catch colds and infections. This is very unfortunate because their immune system is not as strong as it used to be, so these colds and infections are way more dangerous – sometimes even deadly – than they are for ‘healthy’ persons. That is why it is important to protect people with Alzheimer’s Disease from such diseases. Try to encourage your loved one to take his or her flu shot to decrease the chance of getting sick.

Weight Loss

It is often seen that people with Alzheimer’s disease lose a lot of weight. How is this possible? As people with Alzheimer’s disease start wandering around and moving a lot, and/or forget to eat, they will quickly lose weight. Try to keep an eye on older people when you see them lose weight quickly. Try to find out about their eating habits to support them in this. Maybe start a conversation about getting some help or even moving to a nursing home. This symptom starts showing in the early stages of the disease, but it tends to get bad once the disease worsens.


One of the worst and scariest symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s disease is seizures. Especially for those who witness it. Alzheimer’s causes two different proteins to build up in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s. This affects how the brain cells communicate with each other. Sometimes, this can cause the nerve cells to become hyperexcitable. Which causes epileptic seizures. “Fortunately”, this symptom occurs mainly in patients who are in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Most persons have been diagnosed with the disease, and he/she has already received the appropriate care.

alzheimers disease

Visual Problems as Alzheimers Disease Symptom

Many are familiar with the saying: ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’. Once someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, this can change. The disease also affects the eyes. Many Alzheimers patients have a hard time reading, judging distances & distinguishing color. A person may even find that they no longer recognize themselves when they look in the mirror. What’s good to remember is that when your loved one starts complaining about visual problems, it often has nothing to do with the eyes. And not with how the brain processes information.

Last Alzheimers Disease Symptom Physical Problems

At some point – once again in the advanced stages of this disease – people with Alzheimer’s disease start losing control over certain parts of their bodies. This can cause several things, such as difficulty swallowing, becoming incontinent, having trouble walking, and becoming wheelchair-bound. At this point, this person will need help with tasks like using the toilet, walking, eating, and drinking. Now, Alzheimers disease or dementia has long been diagnosed.

Treatment Options for Alzheimers Disease

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to seek medical asap. This can help provide an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan. It is also important to reach out to a trusted person, to get help and support during this difficult time. It is helpful to prepare for the future by taking care of financial and legal matters. Also with deciding who will make important medical decisions if you are no longer able to do so yourself. Keep in mind that there is help and support available for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members. For more information about memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other progressive brain condition continue your online search here: