Alzheimer’s Disease may be one of the cruelest diseases because a sufferer seemingly “disappears” until the person they were — no longer exists. National Alzheimer’s Disease Month, each November, reminds us that over 5 million Americans suffer. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a form of dementia, impacts memory, thinking, and behavior. AD ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common form of dementia in 60-80% of all diagnosed cases.


This list is designed to show examples of how signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias may differ from normal aging. It is not a complete list of signs and symptoms.


First Signs of Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias

    • Forgetting recently learned information
    • Forgetting important dates/events
    • Asking the same questions over and over
    • Needing to use memory aids such as notes or electronic devices

Difficulty planning or solving problems

    • May have problems following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Taking much longer to do familiar tasks

Difficulty completing routine tasks

    • Finding it hard to do daily tasks, such as making a grocery list
    • Trouble driving to a familiar place
    • Difficulty remembering rules of a favorite game

Confusion with time or place

    • May lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time
    • Trouble understanding something if it is not happening right away
    • Forgetting where you are or how you got there

Decreased or poor judgment

    • May experience changes in decision-making, such as having poor judgment when dealing with money or paying less attention to personal grooming
    • May have problems following a conversation
    • May have problems with vocabulary, finding the right word, or calling things by the wrong name
    • May sometimes put things in unusual places
    • May lose things and can’t go back to find them
    • May accuse people of stealing things they can’t find

Withdrawing from work or social activities

    • May stop doing hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports

Mood and personality changes

    • Changes in mood and personality
    • May become confused, anxious, and depressed or upset at home or work, with friends, and in places where they don’t feel comfortable

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