As your parents or other beloved relative gets older, you might be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's. Although you most likely are on the look-out for cognitive signs of Alzheimer's, you should also be aware that Alzheimer's presents via physical symptoms, as well. Keep your eye out for these physical symptoms of Alzheimer's when caring for your loved one.
Alzheimer's disorder is a disorder that focuses on distinctly repetitive behaviors. The sufferer of Alzheimer's will perform these rote behaviors over and over, sometimes ad infinitum, many times never completing the tasks. For example, if your loved one was a heavy smoker prior to his or her diagnosis, or if you think that he or she may have Alzheimer's, the sufferer will also light up a cigarette and begin to smoke. Then, before even finishing the cigarette, he or she may light up another one until the sufferer has a number of cigarettes lit and strewn about an ashtray.
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
Another phenomenon that occurs that is very similar to the above listed is a difficulty with performing familiar tasks. This could be a wide array of things. They are all tasks that were once very familiar to the sufferer of Alzheimer's and now have presented themselves as a huge difficulty. If you find that your loved one may be having some degree of difficulty with a television remote, microwaving a dinner for him or herself or something as simple as making coffee, you may wish to visit a specialist who can perhaps diagnose and subsequently help your loved one out to the best of his or her abilities.
Decreased Motor Skills
Although not a definitive symptom of Alzheimer's, if you see a loved one having trouble with tasks that require some degree of motor skills, you may want to look at other symptoms. For example, many people with Alzheimer's have a bit of difficulty with tasks that require a certain amount of finesse with their hands. Catching a baseball is, of course, out of the picture, but even tasks such as buttoning one's shirt may present a certain degree of difficulty to the sufferer of Alzheimer's. If you see a loved one having a bit of trouble with tasks that require these skills, be on the lookout for other potential signs.
This is one of the definitive symptoms of someone who is suffering from Alzheimer's. The first time that many people realize that a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's is due to them becoming lost or simply wandering about. Destinations and places that were once familiar to someone who suffers from Alzheimer's become foreign. Easy pathways and walks that were commonplace for a sufferer from Alzheimer's become new worlds which only bear some familiarity with the old. If you find a loved one becoming lost easily, it is time for them to see a specialist.
Changing Sleeping Habits
Alzheimer's is known to instill a deep amount of apathy in those who suffer from it. This can lead to sufferers simply not caring about what they do during the day or becoming bored very easily, causing them to nap throughout the day. This, in turn, can cause them to not be able to sleep during the evening hours. Thus, insomnia at night becomes a problem for those who suffer from Alzheimer's, as well.
If you notice your elderly loved one displaying the physical signs of Alzheimer's, it might be time to hire an at-home care aide to assist them with their daily living. If the disease seems to have progressed, you might want to look into residential elderly care, instead. Regardless, keep an eye out for the signs of Alzheimer's so that you can get your elderly loved one the care they need, as soon as they need it.