Stepping out to end Alzheimer's

The 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include:

•Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's is memory loss, especially with recently learned information. Other examples could be: forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, increasingly relying on memory aids (notes, etc.) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

•Challenges in planning of solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or familiar recipe, or keeping track of monthly bills. They may also have trouble concentrating and take much longer to complete familiar tasks.

•Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or leisure: People with Alzheimer's have trouble completing daily tasks, including driving to a familiar location, managing a budget, or remembering rules of a favorite game.

•Confusion with time or place: People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

•Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast.

•New problem with words in speaking or writing: People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, having problems finding the right words, or call things by the wrong name.

•Misplacing things and losing the ability to trace steps: People with Alzheimer's may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps. Sometimes they may accuse others of stealing.

•Decreased or poor judgment: A person with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may give large sums of money to telemarketers. They also may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

•Withdrawal from work or social activities: An Alzheimer's patient may remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a sports team or remembering how to complete the hobby.

•Changes in mood and personality: The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, anxious, depressed, or fearful. They may be easily upset at home, work, with friends or family, or in places out of their comfort zone.