Alzheimer’s is a widespread neurological disorder that affects approximately 5 million Americans. James Weatherstone, a social worker with years of experience in senior care, explains that while most patients begin exhibiting symptoms after the age of 65, some are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s. He explains a few early warning signs to watch out for.
4 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
Memory loss is the most common sign of dementia. A person may have difficulty remembering directions, events, dates, or whether they’ve completed tasks, like taking medications or washing up. They may also have short-term memory loss and ask the same question several times or need to write reminders to remember simple daily tasks, says James Weatherstone.
Another early sign of Alzheimer’s is difficulty communicating, explains James Weatherstone. Because Alzheimer’s is a neurological condition, James Weatherstone adds that it can affect various cognitive functions. A common challenge is finding the right words to express oneself. A person with dementia may also repeat themselves often or pause frequently in a conversation because they lose track of what’s happening or cannot understand what’s being said.
Neglecting Personal Hygiene
A person in the early stages of Alzheimer’s might forget to wash or wear deodorant or do their laundry. They may also stop doing their hair or makeup suddenly, or wear the same outfits day after day. These behaviors can be a sign of Alzheimer’s or depression, which can occur simultaneously, says James Weatherstone.
Depression and Anxiety
It’s normal for seniors to have less energy and feel inclined to stay in more often, says James Weatherstone. However, if a person becomes uncharacteristically withdrawn, it may be a sign of depression or anxiety. Memory loss can be extremely jarring and may cause a person to panic as they cannot remember words, faces, or other facts. They may also become depressed grappling with their memory loss, which can present as sadness, lethargy, irritability, or anger.
More on James Weatherstone
Former Director of Social Services at Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center, also known as Campbell Hall Senior Center, one of the area’s largest rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities. James Weatherstone entered the social services field after over 30 years as a professional actor, earning his Master of Social Work from Adelphi University in 2014, graduating summa cum laude. While he always had the heart for helping others, his education equipped him with the skills and knowledge of a social worker in the context of mental health therapy, preparing him to provide specialized support services for clients in a clinical setting.
Today, although James Weatherstone has moved on from his post at Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center, he continues to advocate for mental health awareness and better social services for patients and their families.
To learn more about his credentials and career, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-weatherstone-86189b98/.