As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s Disease is more than occasional memory loss. The disease causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or which roads to take to return to a home they’ve lived in for decades.
So what is the difference between the normal aging process and this deadly disease? Here are a few indicators.
1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life. As a part of the normal aging process, you may forget names or appointments but remember them later. With Alzheimer’s, you may ask for the same information over and over again, relying heavily on reminder notes.
2. Confusion with time or place. It’s normal to forget the day of the week or your destination – for a moment. But a person with Alzheimer’s can become lost on their own street, not knowing how they got there or how to get home.
3. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but a person with Alzheimer’s may forget simple words or substitute words, making her sentences difficult to understand.
4. Misplacing things. Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys. A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in inappropriate places, like an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
If you or a loved one is experiencing troubling symptoms, visit a doctor to learn more.