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Ten Warning Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. 1. Memory Loss That Affects Job Skills It's normal to occasionally forget assignments, colleagues' names, or a business associate's telephone number and remember them later. Those with a dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, may forget things more often and not remember them later.
2. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks Busy people can be so distracted from time to time that they may leave the carrots on the stove and only remember to serve them at the end of the meal. People with Alzheimer's disease could prepare a meal and not only forget to serve it but also forget they made it.
3. Problems with Language Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer's disease may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making his or her sentence incomprehensible.
4. Disorientation of Time and Place It's normal to forget the day of the week or your destination for a moment. But people with Alzheimer's disease can become lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get back home.
5. Poor or Impaired Judgment People can become so immersed in an activity that they temporarily forget the child they're watching. People with Alzheimer's disease could forget entirely the child under their care. They also may dress inappropriately, wearing several shirts or blouses.
6. Problems with Abstract Thinking Balancing a checkbook may be disconcerting when the task is more complicated than usual. Someone with Alzheimer's disease could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.
7. Misplacing Things Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things in inappropriate places: an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
8. Changes in Mood or Behavior Everyone becomes sad or moody occasionally. Someone with Alzheimer's disease can exhibit rapid mood swings (from calm to tears to anger) for no apparent reason.
9. Changes in Personality People's personalities ordinarily change somewhat with age. But a person with Alzheimer's disease can show drastic personality changes, becoming extremely confused, suspicious, or fearful.
10. Loss of Initiative It's normal to tire of housework, business activities, or social obligations, but most people regain their initiative. The person with Alzheimer's disease may become very passive and require cues and prompting to become involved.