Symptoms of Major Health Conditions

Age Dementia Symptoms
Alzheimers Symptoms

Does your loved one have symptoms of Alzheimers or another form of dementia? We describe age dementia symptoms, senile dementia symptoms and Alzheimers symptoms further down this page.

We have also included information about symptoms of other major medical conditions affecting the elderly.

Other Symptoms

Signs of a Heart Attack
Symptoms of a Mini Stroke
Women Heart Attack Symptoms
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Stroke Symptoms

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Age Dementia Symptoms
Alzheimers Symptoms
Senile Dementia Symptoms

Alzheimers disease and other age related dementia cause many problems for patients and their families. Many problems are due to memory loss. Common symptoms for Alzheimers and other age related dementia are listed below, but not everyone has all of these signs.

Also, not everyone with these symptoms has Alzheimers or age related dementia — prescription drugs interactions and other treatable causes often mimic age dementia symptoms. According to Consumer Reports on Health, "Any new health problem in an older person should be considered drug induced until proven otherwise." To see if medications could be the cause of your loved one's symptoms, click on Prescription Drugs Interactions.

Recent memory loss. Everyone forgets things for awhile, but remembers them later. Dementia patients often forget things, and never remember them. They might ask the same question repeatedly, each time forgetting that you already answered it. They don't even remember they already asked the question.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Patients might cook a meal but forget to serve it. They might even forget cooking it.

Problems with language. Dementia patients may forget simple words or use the wrong words, making it hard to understand what they want, causing an outburst of anger directed at the person they're talking to.

Time and place disorientation. Patients may get lost on their own street, forgetting how they got to a certain place and how to get back home.

Poor judgment. Anyone might get distracted and forget to watch a child closely for a short time. Dementia patients might forget about the child and just leave the house for the day.

Problems with abstract thinking. Anyone might have trouble balancing a checkbook from time to time; dementia patients can forget what numbers are and how to use them.

Misplacing things. Patients may put things in the wrong places — an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl. Then they can't find them later.

Changes in mood. Everyone is moody occasionally, but patients may have fast mood swings, going from calm to tears to anger in just minutes.

Personality changes. Patients may have drastic changes in personality, often becoming irritable, suspicious or fearful.

Loss of initiative. Patients may become passive, not wanting to go places or see other people.

Important Note: Even if your loved one has some of these problems, they may not have Alzheimers. Many treatable health conditions have the same signs. Among them are:

--Prescription drugs interactions and side effects
--The combined effect of weight loss/gain and medications
--Dehydration
--Vitamin B12 deficiency
--Falls and concussions
--Depression
--Alcohol use

To help determine the cause of your loved one's problems, the U.S. Administration on Aging has prepared a brief guide, "Questions to Ask the Doctor." To see it, click here. Fill in the information about your loved one's medications and take it with you for your loved one's next doctor's appointment.

If your loved one has one or more of the symptoms described above ... click on Next Steps.

If your loved one has already been diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, ElderCarelink can help you find the right local eldercare services for him or her. ElderCarelink has established a nationwide network of carefully screened eldercare providers and facilities, and provides their referral service free of charge.

Within minutes of completing their brief Needs Survey, you will receive a detailed email report listing care providers in your area who match your specific requirements. Last year, over 100,000 families utilized this service in their search for high-quality senior care. Click here to use the ElderCarelink service.

— Information Resources —

The information about the common symptoms for Alzheimers and other age related dementia was found on the MEDLINEplus Web site. For more information, click on Alzheimers symptoms.

MEDLINEplus is a gold mine of up-to-date, quality health care information assembled by the Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. To go to MEDLINEplus, click here.

To help you better understand how Alzheimer's disease progresses, the Alzheimer's Association has prepared an excellent article, Stages of Alzheimer's.


The National Institutes of Health offer 4 very informative videos; each one is 4 minutes or less:

Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease
Cognitive Testing for Alzheimer's
How Alzheimer's Affects Neurons in the Brain
The Nun Study


 

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