Many of us have a one time or another had trouble setting the Tivo, the timing on the microwave or figuring out which remote turns on the television. For someone with Alzheimer’s, difficulty completing familiar tasks is one of the 10 Warning Signs.
When someone is struggling with day to day activities like driving to the grocery store just down the street, completing routine activities at work or following the rules of a much loved card or board game it’s important to not only take notice but begin to look more closely at what else has become difficult.
Another indication someone may be struggling with Alzheimer’s is whether they lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately so making plans for the next day, week or month becomes confusing. Knowing in winter that wearing a coat, hat and boots is the best way to stay warm or that a heavy coat worn for a walk in mid July might be unbearable no longer makes sense.Many of us reminisce about the passage of time. We often comment about how much kids have grown or joke about grey hair that has appeared on the heads of friends and classmates. Someone with Alzheimer’s can be frozen in time with past memories and may even mistake a grown child for a sibling or a grandchild who has grown up to resemble a deceased brother. There are typical changes to our memory as we age so putting the whole picture together is important and learning the symptoms of dementia can help a person understand the differences.
If you are seeing more than one change in yourself or someone you know, talk with them about the 10 Warning Signs and what they might be experiencing themselves. The Alzheimer’s Association can help. Call 800-272.3900.
Emmalie Conner is the Northern Colorado Regional Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter. The office in Fort Collins serves Larimer, Jackson, Routt and Grand Counties. Emmalie has lived in Fort Collins for 39 years and has worked for the Alzheimer’s Association for 9 years. She holds a Masters Degree in speech pathology.