3- Challenges with planning and organizing: Finding it hard to keep track of appointments or frequently misplacing belongings.
Challenges with planning and organizing are common early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s may find it increasingly difficult to keep track of appointments or manage their daily schedules. They may forget important events or commitments, miss appointments, or struggle to plan their activities effectively.
In addition to difficulties with scheduling, individuals with Alzheimer’s may frequently misplace belongings. They may put things in unusual or illogical places and then struggle to locate them later. For example, they may put their keys in the refrigerator or place their wallet in a drawer where it doesn’t belong. This can lead to frustration and a constant need to search for misplaced items.
The challenges with planning and organizing can significantly disrupt a person’s daily life. They may struggle to maintain routines, forget important tasks or deadlines, and may feel overwhelmed when trying to coordinate multiple activities or responsibilities.
Caregivers and loved ones can assist by helping individuals with Alzheimer’s to create and maintain schedules, use reminders or alarms for important events, and establish organizational systems to minimize the misplacement of belongings. These strategies can help mitigate the impact of these symptoms and support the person’s independence and functioning for as long as possible.
4- Confusion with time or place: Getting lost in familiar surroundings, losing track of dates or seasons, or having difficulty understanding the passage of time.
Confusion with time or place is another early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s may become disoriented or have difficulty recognizing familiar surroundings. They may get lost in places they have known for years, such as their own neighborhood or even their own home. They may struggle to follow directions or remember routes they have taken many times before.
Furthermore, individuals with Alzheimer’s may have trouble keeping track of dates, seasons, or the passage of time. They may forget the day of the week, the month, or even the year. They might become confused about the sequence of events or have difficulty understanding the concept of time in general. For example, they may mistake morning for evening or become disoriented about whether it is morning or afternoon.
These time and place-related confusions can be distressing for individuals with Alzheimer’s as well as their caregivers. It can cause anxiety, frustration, and a heightened sense of vulnerability in unfamiliar or changing environments.
To support individuals experiencing these symptoms, caregivers and loved ones can provide clear and consistent routines, use visual cues such as calendars or clocks, and create a safe and familiar environment. This can help reduce confusion, improve orientation, and enhance the person’s overall sense of security and well-being.