Alzheimer’s Behaviors Family Members Should Track
If you have a senior loved one in your life, then you want to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to help them feel comfortable and confident as they continue to age. Whether they live with you, or if you are only able to check in with them over the phone, one of the best things that you can do for your loved one is to pay close attention to their behavior and track any potential signs of Alzheimer’s.
While no one ever wants their loved one to develop Alzheimer’s it is an unfortunately common condition for seniors and one that often requires a family member or loved one to intervene. Because Alzheimer’s impacts the mind, it can be difficult for seniors to track these changes in their behavior on their own. This is why it is so important for someone else to be able to step in. Here are eight different Alzheimer’s behaviors that you should track if you have a senior in your life.
- Difficulty learning something new. Make sure to take note of what your parent has difficulty adapting to and how they manage it.
- Struggling with memory or thinking. Occasional lapses are normal for seniors, but individuals who struggle with thinking or memory issues on a daily basis may be developing a more serious cognitive condition.
- Struggling to keep commitments. This can be missing several doctor’s appointments in a row or completely forgetting about dinner or family gathering you’ve planned.
- Challenges in managing finances. This is often one of the biggest warning signs for Alzheimer’s. Look out for out of the ordinary or excessive spending habits, or lack of care in financial welfare.
- Exhibiting poor judgment. Maybe they are walking out in front of traffic or spending their money excessively. It can be something small, or something significant, but if your loved one is showing a lapse in judgment, it may be time to get them help.
- Forgetting the month or the year. Thinking it is Tuesday instead of Wednesday is one thing, but thinking it is 1985 not 2018 is something entirely different. Another common sign is thinking that it is a different month in a different season, such as December instead of July.
- Having no interest in hobbies. When seniors stop showing interest in their favorite hobbies or leisure activities, it may be a sign that something is going on—and it is something that you need to be tracking.
The key to these behaviors is tracking them. It is not enough to just notice your loved one struggled to remember someone’s name. You need to track the behaviors to see if there are changes or a decline in function compared to your loved one’s “normal” behavior.
Looking for the signs of Alzheimer’s early on is one of the best ways to get seniors with this condition the help they need right away. Keep these behaviors in mind so that you can be a source of help to seniors who need it the most.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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