Is it Normal Aging or Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease?

Typical Warning Signs Include the Following

  • Memory loss especially when it comes to recent or important events, names, placement of objects, and other new information.Versus signs of “normal aging”: Periodically and temporarily forget names, appointments, or where you left your keys.

  • Disorientation to time and place. Become lost on your own street or forget where you are, how you got there and how to return home.Versus signs of “normal aging”: Forget the day of the week or why you entered a room.

  • Struggle to complete familiar actions, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, preparing a meal, or placing a telephone call.Versus sign of “normal aging”: Sometimes need assistance with an electronic device.

  • Trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations. May repeat and call things by the wrong name.Versus sign of “normal aging”: Occasionally struggle to find the right word.

  • Poor judgment when making decisions, for example, wear several shirts on a warm day or give away large sums of money to solicitors.Versus sign of “normal aging”: Make questionable or debatable decisions at times.

  • Changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities.Versus signs of “normal aging”: Feel fatigued by work and social obligations now and then or become irritable when a routine is disrupted.

  • Difficulty with complex mental assignments, such as balancing a checkbook or other tasks involving numbers or following directions.Versus signs of “normal aging”: Make a mistake when balancing a checkbook or leave an ingredient out of a recipe every now and then

  • (reprinted - Alzheimer's Association of New Jersey -