When most people think about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, they probably think of forgetfulness. However, there are a number of physical symptoms that you might come across that may be indicative of the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes, the first clue that someone has Alzheimer’s disease or related disorder is because of physical changes.
Symptom #1 – Difficulty with familiar tasks
Those who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease may find that completing tasks that did not require conscious effort before suddenly become difficult. If you notice that your parent suddenly has issues with the microwave oven or the TV remote control, it may be time to arrange a memory test.
Symptom #2 – Decreased fine motor skills and taking shorter steps
While the loss of fine motor skills may be symptomatic of a number of different ailments, it is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Those who have early onset Alzheimer’s disease may find that it becomes difficult to thread a needle, tie their shoes, button a shirt, or write neatly.
There are several reasons for this loss in motor skill, primarily because of the loss of muscle memory. We do these tasks “automatically.” Five separate studies from 2012 show that changes in gait while walking (including shorter steps or a shift to one side) may be indicative of early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Symptom #3 – Repetitive behaviors
People who have Alzheimer’s disease may start to forget that they have already done something – which leads to them doing it again. This may lead to repetitive actions such as checking to see if the front door is locked, several times in a row.
According to research from the British Alzheimer’s Society, it may also lead to repetitive movements and activities such as opening and closing drawers and pacing around the home. This can be because of boredom or not remembering having done it previously.
Symptom #4 – Insomnia
Alzheimer’s disease often leads to sleeping problems and sleep changes. Even though these vary from person to person, there are a few trends to be aware of. Those who have Alzheimer’s may find that it is difficult to sleep at night. However, they may sleep more than they previously did. This leads to what is known as sundown syndrome, meaning that the entire day/night cycle is thrown off. Another indication of Alzheimer’s disease may be an unexpected increase in daytime napping
It is important to note that the aforementioned physical signs may be associated with other age related issues aside from Alzheimer’s disease. However, they may be indicative of a problem that you want to get checked out. If you want to learn more about early detection and what steps to take next, visit www.carltonseniorliving.com.