Preparing for Alzheimer’s: 10 Signs to Watch Out For

Jeff Karp |


The Baby Boomer Generation (my wife and I are members), has also been called the Sandwich generation because many of us still have living parents to care for as well as post college children still getting on their feet.  While this situation can create challenges to both time and finances, there are also positives.  This weekend, my wife will be going to dinner and the movies with my 86 year old mom, and also going to a concert with our 30 year old daughter.  This definitely will be a weekend to fill a few pages of the memories book.

Unfortunately, I am aware that the incredibly good health that my mom currently enjoys will probably not last forever.  My experience as a financial advisor has shown that we should expect the best but plan for the worst.  In particular, I’ve seen the devastation Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring to a family.  Alzheimer’s comes on slowly, potentially lasts many years, and can take a large financial and emotional toll. 

The more aware you are, the more prepared you are to recognize the onset.  Here are the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10 early signs and symptoms to watch out for[1]:

  1. Memory Loss that disrupts daily life.
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. 
  4. Confusion with time or place.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images or spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.  
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment. 
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  10. Changes in mood and personality.

Remember that we cannot always control what happens to us in life, but we can determine how we react.  The first step is to be as prepared as you can be, and to get more comfortable talking about and identifying potentially difficult issues.  Early diagnosis provides the best opportunities for treatment so make sure and consult a physician if you have questions about a particular symptom.