Some room, in some long term care facility, is where most patients with Alzheimer’s disease spend their final days. That is where my father spent his last days, and it is still tough to think about, it still hurts. Missing him is an understatement, and it still produces feelings of longing, guilt that there wasn’t enough done, and surprise. There is a way to know the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s, so take the time to learn for the people that you love. Know where to look for the most current up to date information on the web too because research continues daily for this baffling disease.
The early stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease affect each person in a different way. There are symptoms that are, if you want to call it that, typical though so be sure to look for any combination of symptoms at any time during the disease.
Listed below you’ll find the 10 symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and personal examples for each one my father encountered.
• Loss of recent memory experiences. On the way to town he forgot what he was going to town for, and had to come back home and ask my mother.
• Loss of task association memory. When trying to change the oil in his riding lawn mower, he forgot the process, and had to call my husband to do it for him
• Loss of language for communication. One day my father was trying to make a pot of coffee, and had to call a neighbor to help him. He could not remember what to call the coffee basket, and he described it as “that round thingy” to his neighbor.
• Loss of time and space memory. One incident involved my father leaving the house to go to the small town that he grew up in, not far from where he moved to, and could not find his way home, or couldn’t relate to us why he went.
• Loss of value judgments with memory. Repeated incidents of wearing layered clothing not appropriate for the season happened many times. On one occasion he went outside wearing 3 layers of pants and 2 shirts, during the summer.
• Loss of abstract abilities with memory. My father loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he called me one day in total frustration wanting ¡§that sandwich¡¨, but he did not know what to look for to make it, and once I told him the ingredients, he didn’t know how to do it.
• Loss of memory with items. One day I came over, and found a long line of ants leading up the wall into a cabinet. Curious of course, I opened it to find cooked ham stored carefully in an open cup.
• Loss of emotional memory stability. Watching a baseball game one day, my father was very happy that his Chicago Cubs were winning. He was yelling and shouting with glee, and the next moment, he became very angry and cursing that “it just wasn’t good enough”
• Loss of memory with consistent normal personality. My father showed suspicious fearful personality of all people. A particularly frightening experience was when he found an old gun in the garage, and would take it with him to answer the door.
• Loss of memory with social interests. My father loved to play pool, and he would go down to the senior citizens center, and play with a group. He lost interest in it, and told others he “felt it was too much trouble”.
A wonderful resource for you to find more information about Alzheimer’s disease is on the Internet at http://www.alz.org. The National Alzheimer’s Association website has so much to inform you about, such as research, care giver issues, funding, and a host of other things that are necessary to deal with this disease. The site can lead you to local chapters that will be able to give you a human voice, and a touching and caring hand, on how to identify and live with someone you love that has Alzheimer’s.