Are you worried about your mental sharpness?

Or maybe that of a loved one’s? Mild
forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. If you have trouble remembering someone’s name
but it comes to you later, that’s not a serious memory problem. But if memory problems are
seriously affecting your daily life, they could be early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. While the
number of symptoms you have and how strong they are vary, it’s important to identify the
early signs. You need to ask yourself some tough questions.

1. Memory loss

This is the most common symptom. Do you easily forget information you just learned? Do you
lose track of important dates, names, and events? Do you forget big things even happened?
Do you ask for the same information over and over? Do you rely heavily on memory aids like
Post-it notes or reminders on your smartphone?

2. Trouble planning and problem solving

Do you have trouble making plans and sticking to them? Is it tricky to follow a recipe, even one
you’ve used many times? Is it hard to concentrate on detailed tasks, especially if they involve
numbers? For example, can you keep track of your bills and balance your checkbook?

3. Daily tasks are a challenge

Even familiar things can become hard. Do you have trouble driving to a location you go to
often? Can you complete an ordinary task at work? Do you forget the rules of your favorite

4. Times and places are confusing

Can you fully grasp something that’s not happening right now? Are you disoriented? Do you
get lost easily? Do you forget where you are? Do you remember how you got there?

5. Changes in vision

Is it harder to read the words on the page? Do you have trouble judging distance? Can you tell
colors apart? This is important because it can affect your driving.

6. Words and conversations are frustrating

Vocabulary becomes hard. Can you find the right word you’re looking for? Or do you call
things by the wrong name? Conversations can be a struggle. Do you avoid joining in? Are you
able to follow along? Do you suddenly stop in the middle of a discussion because you don’t
know what to say? Do you keep repeating yourself?

7. You lose things

Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but can you retrace your steps to find them
again? Do you put things in unusual places, like your watch in the refrigerator? Do you accuse
people of taking things?

8. Lapse in judgment

Have you made poor decisions lately? Do you make mistakes with money, like giving it away
when you normally wouldn’t? Are you showering as often? Do you take less care of yourself?
Do you dress for the wrong weather?

9. Social withdrawal

Are you scaling back on projects at work? Are you less involved with your favorite hobbies? Do
you lack motivation? Do you find yourself watching television or sleeping more than usual?

10. Mood changes

Do you get upset more easily? Do you feel depressed, scared, or anxious? Are you suspicious
of people?

Seeing Your Doctor……

If you notice these signs, talk with your doctor. She will evaluate your physical and mental
health. She will look over your medical history and do a mental status test, which looks at your
memory, ability to solve simple problems, and thinking skills. She may also do blood or brain
imaging tests.
She may then refer you to someone who specializes in Alzheimer’s, like a neurologist (a doctor
who specializes in treating the brain and nervous system), psychiatrist, psychologist, or
geriatrician (a doctor who specializes in treating older people).
You can also find a specialist through your local Alzheimer’s Association or Alzheimer’s Disease

Why You Should Make an Appointment Now….

The sooner you know, the better. Starting treatment may help relieve symptoms and keep you
independent longer.
It also helps you plan better. You can work out living arrangements, make financial and legal
decisions, and build up your support network.
WebMD Medical Reference | Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on January 21, 2017