Alzheimer’s Awareness

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia (a decline in mental function), accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases. While dementia is a syndrome, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that affects memory, thinking, judgement, language, problem-solving, personality and movement during each of its five stages. Almost everyone has been touched by Alzheimer’s disease. Maybe you know of a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with the disease, or maybe you are a caregiver of a loved one stricken by Alzheimer’s. If you or your loved one is experiencing the following signs, please see a doctor. 


10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Forgetting recently learned information, important dates (e.g. birthdays and anniversaries) or events, and repeating the same questions. Using memory aids just to remember. 
  2. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Trouble driving to a familiar location (e.g. grocery store) or organizing a simple task (e.g. making a grocery list). 
  3. Confusion with time or place. Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. Losing one’s way in a familiar place or how to get there. 
  4. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.
  5. Inability to process visual images and spatial relationships. Balance issues, trouble reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast.
  6. Problems speaking or writing. Difficulty following or joining a conversation. Stopping in the middle of a conversation or not having an idea how to continue. Struggling with vocabulary to name a familiar object or using the wrong name for a known object (e.g. calling a clock a lamp). 
  7. Misplacing things, losing the ability to retrace steps, or finding the wrong place for items. Putting items in unusual places (e.g. placing a pair of glasses in the fridge). Losing belongings (e.g. car keys) and being unable to retrace the steps to find them again. 
  8. Decreased or poor judgment. Using poor judgment when dealing with money or paying less attention to grooming or keeping clean (e.g. wearing the same outfit every day).
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. Withdrawing from hobbies or social engagements.
  10. Changes in mood and personality. Confusion, suspicion, depression, fear or anxiety. Being easily upset with family and friends, or when out of their comfort zone.  

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s

Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be physically and emotionally taxing. Choosing the right resources will allow you to provide better care for your loved one, and for yourself. 

  • Seek respite care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Some senior memory care communities offer this living option for caregivers so that they can take a physical and mental break for a few days, or even go away on a vacation. 
  • Talk to a physician. 
  • Join a support group.
  • Ask family and friends to help.
  • Call the 24/7 Helpline @ 800-272-3900.
  • Visit to learn more about Alzheimer’s.
  • Take an education class on Alzheimer’s.
  • Join a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  

Did You Know? 

  • More than 6 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s. 
  • Increasing age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. 
  • 1 in 3 seniors will die of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. 
  • Alzheimer’s kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.
  • The risk for Alzheimer’s increases if more than one family member has the illness. 
  • Over 11 million Americans are providing unpaid care for people living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s was discovered in 1906 by the German clinical psychiatrist and neuroanatomist Alois Alzheimer who noticed “plaques and tangles” in the brain of a female patient.