There are various symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, speech problems and confusions are the major symptoms which come to our mind. However, there is also physical manifestation of Alzheimer’s.
At many times, physical symptoms are more noticeable than the mental symptoms.But there is no direct correlation between the physical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and the changes in normal aging. When functioning level of an individual seems to change, the individual should consult a doctor to avoid any harm.
The people who are diagnosed with dementia should receive care and support along with their families as early as possible.
On the coming pages, you will find about other major physical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease which appear in the early stage and which an individual must know so that it can be diagnosed in time.
1.Difficulties with familiar and simple household chores
People who are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease find it difficult to complete tasks which they could do easily before the start of their illness.
I won’t be forgetting the man who once told me that he first realized something really wrong with his mother, when she put garbage in the coffee machine, instead of the coffee. If people have problems operating things such as the gas stove or the TV remote control, consider planning a memory test at first place..
People who are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease forget things which they have recently done so they repeat them again and again. For instance, an older person suffering from dementia is a smoker. He lights up a cigarette and put it down in the ashtray after taking few puffs. He will again light up another cigarette and do the same. Sometimes, he can be found with four or five cigarettes lighted at the same time.
Other examples include, checking whether the door is closed when an individual checked it a few minutes earlier, feeding a pet when a person fed half an hour ago and cleaning glasses repeatedly. There are a number of other examples of repetitive behavior which are exhibited by people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the British Alzheimer Society, other than forgetfulness, there are some other causes as well. The repetitive behavior cannot only be because a person forgets having it done before but also because of other reasons such as boredom.
3.Taking shorter steps and reduced acceptable motor skills
Although losing fine motor skills is a symptom of other diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, yet it is also a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. A person with Alzheimer’s disease finds it difficult to perform little things which can be easily done with our hands. For instance, not writing neatly, buttoning one’s shirt, threading a needle etc.
The people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can also lose memories regarding people and events as well as muscle memories. In case, the part of brain which sends signals to the muscle gets damaged, motor skills can be lost. According to studies, the changes in walking style while walking, for example taking shorter steps and shifting to one side, is a characteristic of the disease that develops in early stages.
In addition, numbness in the limbs which is a symptom of Parkinson’s disease can also be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Numbness in the limbs is another cause of motor problems.
4.Getting lost and wandering
Alzheimer’s Association has found that 6 out of 10 people having dementia are found wandering. This means that a person gets lost in the places he is familiar with or he desires to go somewhere else. Sometimes, wandering of a person becomes serious and milder incidents of wandering are one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease. A person can get late for an appointment without any proper explanation, he may lose his way in the market or cannot find way whilst driving in his place of birth.
5.Increased daytime snoozes
The motivation and zest for life can be diminished by damages in the part of the brain which utilizes memory. According to research, the people with Alzheimer’s disease become inactive by losing interest in their lives. Those people who were active and mentally healthy seem tired and uninterested in their lives. Such people can be found sitting endlessly in a dark room or endlessly watching TV. Alzheimer’s disease causes increased daytime naps.
Changes in sleep and sleep problems are often caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Association has found that the sleep changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease vary from one person to other. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease find it difficult to sleep at night. As discussed above, increased daytime napping can also be a sign of the disease. However, the older adults normally develop sleep changes so there is no need to worry about if a person has developed unusual sleep changes, but his doctor must be aware of the sleep patterns.
7.Poor appearance, personal hygiene and dressing habits
People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease often don’t care for their appearance and personal hygiene either because of forgetfulness or apathy as discussed above. If one finds that a person who was smartly dressed a few moments before is now confused, this can be a physical sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Something is wrong if it is noticed that a person is wearing the same clothes daily or if he has suddenly stopped shaving or he is no longer brushing his hair.
Do you notice changes? There is no need to panic. You must consult a doctor.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, the physical signs discussed above can be associated with age related problems. These reasons are not to be ignored not worried about. All these signs are a reason a senior should consult a doctor and get examined. None of the symptoms mentioned above are strong evidence that a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.