By Carol Bradley Bursack, AgingCare.com
With Alzheimer’s so much in the news, it’s natural to ask yourself sometimes whether you could be on the brink of the disease or some other dementia. This worry is compounded in people who have early onset Alzheimer’s in their families. After all, who hasn’t forgotten keys, messed up a checkbook or even neglected to pay a bill?
Don’t panic. Stress can be a huge culprit when it comes to memory problems, as can medications, infections and sleep deprivation. So it’s important to take a realistic look at your situation.
Check for changes in behavior
If you always mess up when you balance your checkbook, you probably shouldn’t be too concerned if you do it again. However, if you are an accountant and the numbers no longer make sense, then it’s time to consider a checkup.
The same thing goes for activities like cooking. If you are a casual cook but your meals aren’t as tasty as usual, it’s probably just because you are rushing and not paying attention. Maybe you’re tired or distracted by your care receiver’s health. But if cooking is your major form of relaxation, and you find creative joy in making meals, yet are habitually messing them up, you may want to question why.
Getting lost driving home from a familiar place? Not good. But if you just flake out and make a wrong turn because you are preoccupied, it’s probably okay. However, if you are driving home from a familiar store and can’t remember how to get from point A to point B, it’s probably time to see a doctor.
If you do have symptoms that bother you, see a doctor, for your care receiver’s sake as well as your own. If your mother has Alzheimer’s, you can’t properly care for her if you can’t keep her medications straight.
How to Tell If You Have Early-Stage Dementia originally appeared on AgingCare.com