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How to Detect the Signs Of Alzheimer's in Your Parents

Though it is normal to forget things as we age, it pays to be aware of memory problems that may indicate Alzheimer's.


  • Step 1: Note memory lapses Note short-term memory lapses in your parents, such as confusion about where they are or when they arrived somewhere.
  • Step 2: Pay attention to organization Notice if parents struggle with organizing information or keeping numbers straight.
  • Step 3: Analyze sources of vision problem Take note of complaints about vision problems, which can indicate impaired cognitive functioning.
  • TIP: The Alzheimer’s Association is a key information resource for overwhelmed families and individuals.
  • Step 4: Keep track of repeating Notice when parents get lost in a conversation or repeat themselves moments after telling you something.
  • Step 5: Watch for things out of place Watch for shoes in the refrigerator or books planted in a garden as a parent become less able to match objects with their proper location or function.
  • TIP: In the early stages, an individual may successfully avoid conversations or joke when they make mistakes.
  • Step 6: Note withdrawal Notice if your parent grows increasingly careless about grooming, or withdraws from activities, sports, shopping trips, or hobbies.
  • Step 7: Observe mood changes Observe mood swings and shifts in personality. Notice if parents become annoyed and perplexed when routines are disrupted.
  • FACT: Current research estimates nearly 500,000 people in the United States under the age of 65 have Alzheimer's.

You Will Need

  • Close attention
  • Patience
  • Thick skin
  • Internet or telephone access (optional)

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