So many adult children of elderly parents are on the lookout for any and all signs of Alzheimer’s disease. When elderly adults live in senior communities, their older neighbors and visiting caregivers are usually able to spot the earliest signals because they see them more frequently than adult children do. But elderly parents, who are not receiving elder care and still live in their own homes, need to rely on their adult children to spot those signs so that proper care can be given.
Basic Memory Loss
Most adults are familiar with the fact that one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease in is forgetting common things, like the children’s names, important dates, and where things are located. However, many people have bouts of forgetfulness without ever developing Alzheimer’s. If the forgetfulness seems to last for a longer-than-normal time, it is appropriate to discuss this problem and the possible idea of elderly health care to work through the bouts of forgetfulness.
Another common signal of Alzheimer’s shows when seniors have challenges with tasks that were once easy. These tasks can include simple things like turning on the stove or working the washing machine. This is usually an issue related to memory loss and a visit to the doctor and a memory test can determine if this is possibly related to Alzheimer’s.
Because of memory loss and challenges with simple tasks, many aging adults do get frustrated more easily. For example, it can be very frustrating not to know how to run the vacuum cleaner after running the same one for over 40 years.
Repeating Over and Over Again
Along with forgetting how to do tasks, another common sign of Alzheimer’s is repetition. Again, this has to do with forgetting. For example, if your elderly mother continues to vacuum the same room over and over again, she might be doing this because she cannot remember if she actually did it. You might also see signs of repetition in the family refrigerator. If you notice that there are more half-gallons of orange juice than usual, your aging parent might keep going to the store to buy orange juice because the previous shopping excursions are not remembered.
Losing Muscle Memory
There are also some physical signals of Alzheimer’s disease. Because memory includes more than just remembering names, faces, and tasks, it also includes muscle memories; those can get lost, too. You might see your elderly parents moving at a different gait than usual because the memories related to walking might be difficult to access. Along with losing muscle memory, another common sign involves elderly men and women wandering and being unable to find their way back home. Another common and related physical sign is excess napping especially as physical movement becomes more challenging due to the loss of muscle memory. Elderly adults can become very tired.
When adult children need to make decisions regarding elder care for their aging parents, knowledge is power. Knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease is the best way to determine what type of care is needed. Before making any major decisions, it is vitally important to speak with your parent’s physician.
Care Connection provides elder care in East Lansing, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.