If your loved one has a genetic predisposition towards Alzheimer's, meaning they're at an increased risk for developing the disease, there are reasons for concern. While the results of APOE genetic testing don't guarantee that your loved one will develop the disease, there is an increased chance that they will. Knowing that, it's important that you understand the warning signs associated with the disease. If you know that your loved one has the genetic markers, it's time to start paying attention to their day-to-day life. If you recognize any of the signs described below, it's time to talk to their healthcare provider.
They Can't Remember Important Details
Memory loss is one of the first signs of Alzheimer's. The disease can make it difficult to remember details and events, such as appointments or daily schedules. If your loved one is having difficulty remembering important details, or needs to have constant reminders about things, you need to speak to their healthcare provider as soon as possible. This is particularly important if the memory loss goes beyond the typical lost car keys.
They're Having Problems with Plans
If your loved one used to have an easy time navigating complex plans but is having difficulty with those tasks now, they may be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. This disease can interfere with basic problem-solving skills, even if the problems at hand used to be second nature. In fact, it's not uncommon for Alzheimer's to affect a persons ability to remember the work that they used to do, or how to follow through with crafts that they used to enjoy doing.
Normal Tasks are Becoming Difficult
Alzheimer's can interfere with a persons ability to perform routine tasks, such as tying shoes or preparing a meal. If your loved one is needing help performing routine tasks, it's time to take a closer look at their health. An inability to tie shoes or button shirts can be associated with things like arthritis. However, if your loved one has forgotten how to tie their shoes, or gets frustrated when trying to button their shirt, the problem may go beyond a mobility problem. It's time to talk to their healthcare provider.
They've Forgotten Where They Are
If your loved one has gotten lost in a parking lot, or has come out of a building and forgotten where they are, you may be looking at the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. This disease can rob a person of their ability to remember where they are or what they're doing. A healthcare provider can ensure that your loved one gets the help they need.