They may also sometimes forget where they are or how they got there. Getting confused about the day of the week, but remembering it later, is a normal age-related change.
Another warning sign is having trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some people, vision problems may be a sign of a degenerative brain disease. Alzheimer’s can cause difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color. People with Alzheimer’s often have trouble seeing the color white. Alzheimer’s related vision problems can make driving and other activities difficult and dangerous. Vision changes related to cataracts are normal age-related changes.
Experiencing new problems with words in speaking or writing is another warning sign. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s may have trouble joining or following a conversation. They may stop suddenly and have no idea how to start again or repeat themselves. They may also struggle with vocabulary and finding the right word, for example, calling a “watch” a “hand-clock.” Having occasional difficulty finding the right word is a normal age-related change.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps is another warning sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places, for example, storing keys in the oven or a wallet under the bathroom sink. They often lose things and are unable to remember where they’ve been. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing from them. This may occur more frequently as time passes. Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them is a normal age-related change.
Decreased or poor judgment is a warning sign as well. People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in their decision-making or judgment; for example, using poor judgment when dealing with money. Often, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia give large amounts of money to telemarketers and salesmen. They may also pay less attention to personal hygiene and caring for themselves. Making an occasional bad decision is a normal age-related change.