At present, almost 7 million people (about twice the population of Oklahoma) aged 65 or older have Alzheimer's. The data underscores a big concern because 18% of our population is 65 years or older, and 1 of every three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or some other type of dementia.  Younger people can also have dementia. Data estimates that 200,000 Americans 30-64 years old have younger-onset dementia. 


Here are ten common early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. 


Memory loss that disrupts daily life: People forget recently learned information, important dates, or events, ask the same questions repeatedly, and increasingly need to rely on family members for things they used to handle on their own.  

Challenges in planning or solving problems: They may need help developing and following a plan or working with numbers as they did before. They may also need help preparing meals and take much longer to do things than they did before. 

Difficulty completing familiar tasks: You may need help driving or get lost driving or walking to a familiar location.   

Confusion with Time or Place: People with Alzheimer's or other dementia can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may need help understanding something if it is not happening immediately or forget where they are or how they got there.  

Difficulty with vision and positioning (spatial relationships): Could experience vision changes leading to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving. 

New problems with words, whether speaking or writing: People living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may have trouble following or, joining or continuing a conversation, may repeat themselves, and may have difficulty naming a familiar object or calling it by a made-up name. 

They are misplacing things and unable to retrace steps: They may put things in unusual places, lose things, go back over their steps to find them again, and accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.  

Decreased or Poor Judgement: Individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementia can experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may need better judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.  

Withdrawal from work or social activities: A person living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may have difficulty holding or following a conversation and so withdraw from hobbies, social activities, or other engagements.  

Changes in mood or personality:  Individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends, or outside their comfort zone. 

Talk to your healthcare provider if you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms. Remember, you can also schedule an appointment at OCHS by calling 407-943-8600.

Disclaimer: This is not a medical consultation. This journal should not replace the instructions to manage your specific medical condition given by your doctor or medical provider.