Adapted from the Alzheimers.org

  1. Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life. One of the most common signs is forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
  2. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems. Some people may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before. What’s a typical age-related change? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
  3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks at Home, at Work or at Leisure. Sometimes people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. What’s a typical age-related change? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.
  4. Confusion with Time or Place. People can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. What’s a typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
  5. Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast, which may cause problems with driving. What’s a typical age-related change? Vision changes related to cataracts.
  6. New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing. People with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand clock”). What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
  7. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps. People with memory loss may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time. What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.
  8. Decreased or Poor Judgment. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. What’s a typical age-related change? Making a bad decision once in a while. .
  9. Withdrawal from Hobbies, Work or Social Activities. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced. What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
  10. Changes in Mood and Personality. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. What’s a typical age-related change? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.