1. Recent Memory Loss that Affects Job Performance – May forget things more often and not remember them later. They may repeatedly ask the same question, not remembering either the answer or they’ve already asked the questions.
2. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks – Preparing a meal, forget to serve it, and even forgot they made it.
3. Problem with Language – May forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making their sentence incomprehensible.
4. Disorientation of Time and Place – Can become lost on their own street or in a familiar shopping mall, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get home.
5. Poor or Decreased Judgment – Can become so immersed in an activity or telephone conversation they temporarily forget the child they’re watching, entirely forgetting the child was under their care and leave the house to visit a neighbor.
6. Problems with Abstract Thinking – May be momentarily disconcerted when a task, such as balancing their checkbooks, becomes more complicated than usual, but will eventually figure out the solution. They could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.
7. Misplacing Things – May put things in inappropriate places – an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in a sugar bowl – and not be able to retrieve them.
8. Changes in Personality – Personalities ordinarily change somewhat at different ages, as character traits strengthen or mellow. But a person with Alzheimer’s can change drastically, becoming extremely irritable, suspicious or fearful.
9. Changes in Mood or Behavior – Can exhibit rapid mood swings for no apparent reason, from calm to tears to anger to calm in a few minutes.
10. Loss or Initiative – It’s normal to tire of housework, business activities or social obligations, but more people regain their initiative. The person with Alzheimer’s may become very passive and require cues and prompting to get them involved in activities.
The good news is that the battle against Alzheimer’s is gaining ground: medications, mind games, physical activity, consultations, social groups, etc., a help with offsetting dementia/Alzheimer’s.