No one wants to think their beloved parent or other family members may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s, but turning away from warning signs is never a good idea. If you have any concerns, it is best to deal with them now, as early detection of Alzheimer’s makes a difference. The sooner someone with early signs of Alzheimer’s enters a memory care program, the better the anticipated outcomes.
Wickshire Senior Living in Oklahoma City offers a memory care program for seniors that is one of the cornerstones of our offerings. We don’t want our residents to uproot themselves if they begin to need a higher level of care for memory issues. If you are interested in an assisted living residence that includes a memory care option and have questions about what that might look like for yourself or a loved one, reach out today. Call us at 833.497.4390 or contact us via our online form.
Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s typically strikes people after age 80, but in some cases, signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s can be seen prior to age 65. There is no conclusively determined reason for early-onset Alzheimer’s, but there are deterministic genes and risk genes that are important factors in many of the early diagnoses.
Deterministic genes are found in only 5% of people with Alzheimer’s. The presence of these genes guarantees that someone will develop the disease. Other genes, known as “risk genes,” are deterministic but not guarantors of an eventual diagnosis. However, risk genes do increase the chances that if someone develops Alzheimer’s, it may be an earlier onset.
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
Whether someone develops early-onset Alzheimer’s or does not show symptoms until later in life, the first signs of the disease are fairly consistent among everyone.
Disruptive memory loss.
Normal aging: Occasionally forgetting names or appointments and then remembering them later.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Frequently forgetting recently learned information, important events, and dates; repeating questions frequently, and relying on external aids and other people to handle memory-related chores.
- Difficulty completing simple tasks.
Normal aging: Needing a reminder now and then about how to set the microwave or how the new thermostat works.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Daily tasks are really a challenge, including driving to a once-familiar place, remembering a favorite old recipe, or following a game of a favorite sport like baseball or football on TV.
- Trouble making plans or solving ordinary problems.
Normal aging: An occasional goof on the calendar or budget planning.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Difficulty concentrating, for example, to complete routines like bill paying or following driving directions; things take much longer than they once did.
- Confusion about time and location.
Normal aging: Momentarily forgetting what day it is or which way to turn for the grocery store.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Temporal and spatial disorientation to the point that future events and current location are uncertain and getting lost is increasingly common.
- Personality changes.
Normal aging: Disliking interruptions to routine and preferring things to be done a certain way.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Confusion, suspiciousness, anxiety around changes in routine, increased fearfulness, and depression.
Normal aging: Occasional disinterest in gatherings and other social events outside daily routines.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Withdrawal from social activities and family gatherings, partly due to growing difficulty maintaining conversations or following sequences of events.
- Losing things.
Normal aging: Occasional misplacement of items with the ability to retrace steps to locate them.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Increased tendency to put things in odd places, like a book in the hamper or a pillbox in the fridge; frustration at not being able to find things; potential tendency to suspect others of stealing.
- Poor judgment.
Normal aging: Infrequent lapses, like failing to take the car in for a tune-up.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s: Declining ability to make good decisions such as giving money away, wearing shorts in the snow, or neglecting hygiene.
Memory Care at Wickshire Senior Living
The community at Wickshire Senior Living is a safe place to land for anyone with developing memory issues, either from dementia or Alzheimer’s. We offer expert care to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and offer genuine opportunities for continuing to live a meaningful life of purpose and fulfillment.
Let one of our staff answer your questions and allay your fears about memory loss and how it will impact the future of your family. Whether there is already a firm diagnosis or you are just beginning to feel concerned, there is no wrong time to reach out. But don’t wait. We are here to help. Call 833.497.4390 or fill out our online form to speak to a specialist.