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Alzheimer's: Early warning signs

Alzheimer's: Early warning signs

September is world Alzheimer’s month. We aim to provide some informative articles during this time. Almost 1 million people have dementia in the UK, and this number is expected to increase with time. People with dementia often experience personality changes and may not act like their usual selves.

The earlier Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed, the easier it is for individuals and their families to adjust and plan. These are some possible indicators to look out for.

  • Forgetfulness that impacts on day to day living: This is a very common sign.
  • Difficulty problem solving: Individuals could have difficulty developing plans or doing arithmetic.
  • Familiar activities being challenging: People may experience issues travelling to a familiar place or memorising rules in a game they enjoy playing.
  • Losing track of time: Not knowing the date or season.
  • Difficulty understanding visual images and spatial relationships: Having vision problems is an indicator for some people. For example, they may not realise they are the person they can see in the mirror.
  • Trouble communicating: Somebody may have difficulty writing or participating in conversation.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Putting things in unusual or random places. They may accuse others of stealing the items.
  • Decline in decision making: You may notice somebody has increasingly poor judgement.
  • Shifts in personality: Some people with dementia can become confused, fearful, suspicious, or anxious. They may be easily upset – either at work, when out and about, with friends or in the home or when in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

If you have any questions or worries about dementia, we recommend you discuss these with your GP.

To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at info.blyth@homeinstead.co.uk or by post to Home Instead South East Northumberland, Blyth Workspace, Unit T04, Commissioners Quay, Quay Road, Blyth NE24 3AF. Alternatively, you can also call us on 01670 338542.

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