People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of what time it is.
Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN
(06:05-06:10)

 

A lot of us have been home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you’re interacting with your older relatives more than usual and you may be noticing some memory problems. If you’re worried about somebody having an issue with their memory and want to have them checked, what are the top 10 warning signs that you should look for?

 

In this week’s episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Alzheimer’s and/or other dementia/typical age-related changes.

 

Part One of ‘Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease’

The first question is, what is dementia? It’s a broad umbrella term, meaning that many different symptoms go into this term. People are going to have difficulty with their memory. They’re going to have trouble with language, but also problem-solving and executive planning.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that accounts for about 60 to 80 percent of the different dementias that we see. The other dementias that are most common are Lewy Body Dementia and Vascular Dementia. Those types of dementias tend to appear a little bit differently.

You may have one type or a mix of things, particularly if you have high blood pressure or you’ve had many strokes in the past, and you may have Alzheimer’s, you may have a combination of Alzheimer’s type dementia and vascular dementia. For the most part, these symptoms are pretty similar.

 

They may tell you the same story or they may have difficulty finding the right word. – Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN (09:10-09:15)

 

Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

Warning Sign: Forgetting important dates, repetitive, need more memory aids than before.

Normal aging: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later.

 

Challenges in planning or solving problems.

Warning Sign: Trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of paying monthly bills.

Normal aging: Making occasional error balancing a checkbook.

 

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or play.

Warning Sign: Trouble organizing a shopping list or trouble driving to a familiar place.

Normal aging: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

 

Part Two of ‘Ten Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease’

 

Confusion with time or place.

Warning Sign: Forget where you are or how you got there.

Normal aging: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

 

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.

Warning Sign: Trouble judging distance.

Normal Aging: Vision changes related to cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration.

 

New problems with words in speaking or writing.

Warning Sign: Trouble following conversation or forgets where they are in a story.

Normal aging: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

 

These are only warning signs. They are not diagnostic.
–  Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN (16:04-16:05)

 

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.

Warning Sign: Put things in usual places, accuse others of stealing.

Normal aging: Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

 

Decreased or poor judgement.

Warning Sign: Less attention to grooming; giving away large amounts of money.

Normal aging: Making bad decisions once in a while.

 

Withdrawal from work or social activities.

Warning Signs: Starts to remove themselves from activities, social activities, or hobbies.

Normal aging: Sometimes feeling weary of work, friends, and social obligations.

 

Changes in mood or personality.

Warning Sign: Confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. Upset when out of their comfort zone.

Normal aging: Developing very specific ways to doing things, and become irritable when routine is disrupted.

 


 

For more information on Alzheimer’s
or related dementias, visit: https://www.alz.org

 


 

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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at MelissaBPhD.com to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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