Gayle Reeves' Blog

Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Gayle A. Reeves - Monday, March 31, 2014

Alzheimer’s Disease is an insidious disease in that it usually comes on slowly so that a person may not realize what is going on until it has progressed to a severe level. I have many clients who come into my office and say that their loved one is somewhat forgetful.

When I speak with the loved one it is clear to me that s/he has progressed beyond being merely forgetful. In several instances I requested a physician’s letter verifying the loved one’s capacity to sign legal documents. In each case the physician stated that the person was suffering from severe Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Because many people do not recognize when being forgetful becomes a serious problem, knowing the signs Alzheimer’s is important.

Early Detection

Early detection of Alzheimer’s allows you to receive the maximum benefit from the available treatments and to participate in clinical drug trials. It gives you time to put a plan in place for your future; giving you control over your situation even when you are no longer capable of making decisions. Your family and you can become educated about Alzheimer’s and create a network of support. Probably most importantly, it allows you to remain independent for a longer period of time.

So, what do you look for? The following are the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s as published by the Alzheimer’s Association.

10 Signs of Alzheimer's:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure.
  • Confusion with time or place.
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  • Changes in mood and personality.

We are all forgetful at one time or another, some of us more than others, such as my husband is always losing his keys and wallet. However, this does not mean he has Alzheimer’s. He can usually retrace his steps to find them. A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again.

For more information on the 10 signs and distinguishing between cause for concern and typical behavior I recommend going to alz.org/10signs. The Alzheimer’s Association website provides a tremendous amount of practical information and offers connections to local support groups. By ignoring the warning signs, you run the risk of not getting the best help possible.

Gayle A. Reeves Co., L.P.A., Attorney at Law, Vineyard Square Plaza, 1607 State Route 60, Suite 10, Vermilion, OH 44089, call (440) 967-6565. Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.