Statistics indicate that approximately 5.5 million seniors in the United States are in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss is widely recognized as being one of the first symptoms of the disorder. However, there are some unusual signs that may warn of the cognitive-impairing disease’s development.
1. Frequent Falls
Alzheimer’s often causes a loss of the ability to recognize danger or solve problems. Additionally, the damage that occurs in the brain affects regions that govern physical movement. Researchers evaluated 125 older adults for fall frequency and found that the seniors experienced several problems that led to tripping and/or falling. The subjects underwent imaging scans, and the research team found a direct correlation between areas of visible damage in the brain and falling issues. When seniors seem to lose their balance and fall frequently, they may need to be evaluated for the possibility of Alzheimer’s onset.
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming for family caregivers, and a compassionate professional caregiver can provide much-needed support. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Des Moines, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Failure to Recognize Sarcasm
Oftentimes, people may not recognize when someone is being sarcastic. However, when seniors continually misinterpret sarcasm as literal or serious comments, they may be displaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco studied seniors with Alzheimer’s. During their evaluations, the team learned that Alzheimer’s affects the frontotemporal region of the brain, which includes the hippocampus. This area is responsible for short-term memory and the ability to comprehend and discern the meaning behind speech. As such, seniors who often cannot distinguish inferred speech may need a professional assessment for the presence of cognitive malfunction.
3. Inability to Use Objects
It’s not unusual for someone to walk into a room and forget why he or she is there. Similarly, people often misplace items and cannot remember where they were placed. However, when someone no longer remembers how to use common everyday items or appliances, they may be exhibiting the early signs of Alzheimer’s.
4. Staring into Space
The damage caused by Alzheimer’s leads to cognitive issues such as the inability to recall facts. The neuron damage in various regions of the brain also commonly causes an inability to be mentally present in the moment. Thus, seniors may seem intellectually blank and stare into space, which may be an indication of medical conditions such as absence seizures or dementia. When older adults frequently have blank episodes, they need to consult with a doctor.
Cognitive issues in seniors can make it difficult for family caregivers to know what their loved ones need at any given time. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Des Moines Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
5. Strange Eating Habits
During the early phase of Alzheimer’s, older adults commonly complain of hunger or consume more food than normal. However, it’s not unusual for them to simultaneously lose weight. A closer inspection of their diet may reveal they eat objects that aren’t normally considered food. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may also experience hunger pangs. However, memory loss causes the brain to occasionally forget that the sensation means the need to eat food. Seniors then turn to any objects available in an attempt to satisfy the cravings.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Des Moines seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.