As a caregiver, it can be a touchy topic to even think about Alzheimer’s disease and your aging adult. Some of her behaviors might be off or she might be having memory lapses, but when should you talk to her doctor?
You’re Noticing Lots of Repetition
One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease can be repetition. Your senior might ask the same question of you over and over, even after you answer it. She likely doesn’t realize that she’s done it. Or she might tell you a story that you both laugh about and then turn around and repeat the exact same story in the exact same way. These are indications that her brain isn’t functioning the way that it used to function.
Common and Easy Activities Stump Your Senior
There are probably hundreds of activities that your senior has done for years, like cooking a specific meal. If she suddenly doesn’t know how to make that meal, that’s a big red flag. She might also forget other really simple tasks or facts that she’s never forgotten before. This is a sign that her brain isn’t able to access some of her memories, especially long-term memories.
She’s Getting Lost
When your elderly family member starts to feel lost, even in familiar locations or loses items that she uses often that can be a big problem. Sometimes Alzheimer’s disease is overwhelming for your senior and stimuli that wouldn’t ordinarily confuse her or distract her can become an issue. That can make a familiar space suddenly feel totally new and uncomfortable.
You’re Noticing Hygiene Changes with No Other Answer
Cognitive changes can sometimes convince your senior that she’s already done something or that she doesn’t need to do whatever that task is. This is common with hygiene. Your senior might stop bathing or she might start to become so attached to one particular outfit that it’s all she wears. When you ask her, she might tell you that she just bathed or changed clothes, even though you know that’s not accurate.
Getting an answer one way or another about Alzheimer’s disease can be scary for you and your aging adult. It can help if you have home care providers available who can take some of the strain of daily tasks off both of you. They can also help you come up with solutions that help your senior with daily life once you have a definitive diagnosis.