Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that slowly affects someone’s ability to reason, think, and remember. In time, the impact to memory, thinking, and social abilities is enough to interfere with daily living. Alzheimer’s can be difficult to diagnose, because certain symptoms may be characteristic of age-related changes. Still, it’s important to be aware of early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s so that you can follow up with a doctor if you notice them in yourself or a loved one.

Memory Loss Disruptive to Daily Life 

It’s not unusual for senior citizens to occasionally forget a name or an appointment, only to remember it at a later time. But persistent forgetfulness may be a sign of something more serious. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, chronic forgetfulness, particularly of recently learned information, is one of the most common signs of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If you notice a loved one repeats the same questions, forgets important events and dates, and is relying on memory aids or family for regular reminders of things they used to manage on their own, it’s worth investigating.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks 

Forgetting the rules of a favorite game, having trouble driving to the gas station or salon they’ve visited for years, or being overwhelmed with the task of compiling a grocery list are all characteristic of another Alzheimer’s symptom – difficulty completing regular, familiar tasks. While a generational, age-related change may be needing help figuring out new technology, a symptom of Alzheimer’s is confusion and difficulty with something that used to be managed easily.

Difficulty Planning or Solving Problems

Some people living with Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to create and follow plans, or manage numbers properly. You may see it in your loved one’s inability to follow a recipe they used to know well, or managing their monthly bills.It may be hard for them to concentrate, and completing familiar tasks takes much longer than it once did. While an occasional error is one thing, chronic difficulty in this area may be indicating a form of dementia.

Confusing Time and Place

 As we age, it’s normal to become confused about the day of the week, or where we are in the month. Usually, we’ll catch our own error. People with Alzheimer’s routinely lose track of dates, seasons, and time in general.They may also not remember how they got somewhere, or even where they are.

 Misplacing Things & Getting Lost

 Misplacing things happens to us all, but we can usually find what we set down by retracing our steps. For people living with Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to lose things but difficult or impossible to retrace their steps to find what they’ve lost.As the disease progresses, it’s not unusual for a loved with Alzheimer’s to become hostile about this and accuse people of stealing. Mood and personality changes – confusion, suspicion, depression, anxiety, fearfulness – are another symptom of Alzheimer’s.

 Changes in Judgment and Decision Making

 A decline in grooming habits, poor financial decisions, or other questionable judgments can be another sign of Alzheimer’s. An isolated incidence may simply be age-related, but a pattern of spotty thinking could be something more serious.

 Difficulty with Speaking and Writing

 An aging loved one may struggle to remember a particular word now and then. Someone with Alzheimer’s, however, might have trouble maintaining conversation. You may notice them repeating themselves or stopping abruptly in conversation and not being sure how to continue. They may have problems with vocabulary or use the wrong words for familiar objects.

 Next Steps

They may seem minor, but signs like these could be symptomatic of significant health issues. If you notice any of these tendencies in yourself or a loved one, don’t wait. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia can be scary, but it’s important to understand the facts. At Syncare Memory Suites in Minnesota, we offer specialized private memory care for people living with Alzheimer’s, and we’re here to help. Contact us today – we’re happy to answer your questions.

A Loved One with Alzheimer’s — Three Tips for Celebrating New Year’s Eve


For a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, familiar traditions of the holiday season can be overwhelming. In a recent post, we shared tips for creating holiday joy in the midst of challenging changes and now we’re sharing three tips for celebration New Year’s Eve.

Make Resolutions Together

A brand new year feels like a fresh start. It’s the perfect time to assess your life and make commitments to changing for the better. Involve your loved one in the process of making resolutions. Consider committing to spending quality time together on a schedule, such as a Sunday evening dinner or a mid-week brunch. Putting these shared events on your loved one’s calendar will help them feel connected to you, and it’s an opportunity for you to spend quality time together.

Reminisce about Past Celebrations

Looking to the past is a traditional part of the holiday season. It’s a nostalgic time, which makes it ideal for looking through photo albums together, listening to seasonal music, and sharing stories of old. Memories can be triggered by familiarity, so try to incorporate any family traditions you may have for New Year’s. If your family celebrates in a special way, modify it as necessary and enjoy.

Make the Countdown Work for You

The traditional countdown on New Year’s Eve is to midnight, but that may not be feasible for your loved one. There are lots of ways to count down. If you’re on the West Coast, follow the East Coast countdown for an earlier night. On the East Coast? Consider celebrating with a New Year’s Day breakfast. Either way, break out the festive hats and party horns and enjoy.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for your loved one mean inevitable changes, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy holidays together. Be open to modifying traditions to ensure your loved one’s safety and comfort, and remember to stay positive. Above all, you’re together, and that’s what matters.

Learn more about Syncare Memory Suites, a personalized and private memory care home in Minnesota. We understand the challenges you face when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and we’re here to answer your questions. Contact us today.

A Loved One with Alzheimer’s — Three Tips for Holiday Joy


When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s often the beginning of big changes to the family dynamic. And these changes are particularly noticeable during the holiday season, especially if your loved one previously played an important role in beloved holiday traditions. Fortunately, the holiday season can still be a time of family and joy. Our three tips for holiday joy can help you create new traditions that incorporate the established and familiar, while meeting the new needs of your loved one.

Look to the Past

The holiday season makes everyone a little nostalgic, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the memories that are triggered in your loved one through familiar seasonal music or annual traditions like decorating the Christmas tree. This is a wonderful time to look through old photo albums and remember Christmases past, to watch beloved Christmas movies, or to spend time together baking and decorating holiday treats. Be mindful of any adjustments you’ll need to make to ensure your loved one’s safety and engagement, and enjoy this time of reminiscing.

Give a Nod to Old Traditions with Something New

While some seasonal traditions, like ice skating or skiing, may no longer be an option, there are always new traditions to be made. If you can’t go ice skating or skiing, try a short walk through freshly fallen snow instead. The holidays are a wonderful time for family, and time spent together is what really makes our traditions so memorable. How we choose to spend that time is less important than the closeness itself, so consider what activities would best engage your loved one, and build a new tradition around them.

Do What You Can From Home

Shopping plays a big role in the holiday season, but these outings can be stressful for your loved one. Avoid the crowds and the sensory overload completely, and help your loved one shop from the comfort of home. Looking online or through a catalog together keeps your loved one engaged, even if they don’t end up buying anything. Creating homemade gifts, such as thoughtfully wrapped Christmas treats, can also be a wonderful way to spend time together.

Above all, do your best to stay positive. Instead of remembering how things used to be, remind yourself to look on the bright side. It’s a better mindset for you, and your positivity is better for your loved one, too. Set a good example by enjoying this special time of year — a time for family.