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Alzheimer's Disease - Ten Warning Signs


The Alzheimer’s Association has developed 10 warning signs for Alzheimer’s disease.  It is normal to have some memory loss with age.  What is not a normal part of aging is when this memory loss leads to a dysfunctional life.

The following chart will help you tell the difference between normal, age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.  Individuals who exhibit several of these signs should see a physician for a comprehensive evaluation.

Please feel free to download and print off these 10 warning signs for future reference.




What’s Normal!

What’s Not Normal!


Memory loss

Forgetting names or appointments occasionally.

Forgetting recently learned information is one of the most common early signs of dementia.  A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall the information later.


Difficulty performing familiar tasks

Occasionally forgetting why you came into a room or what you planned to say.

People with dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday tasks.  Individuals may lose track of the steps involved in preparing a meal, placing a telephone call or playing a game.


Problems with language

Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

People with Alzheimer’s disease often forget simple words or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand.  They may be unable to find the toothbrush, for example, and instead ask for “that thing for my mouth.”


Disorientation to time and place

Forgetting the day of the week or where you were going.

People with Alzheimer’s can become lost in their own neighborhoods, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get back home.


Poor or decreased judgment

Making a questionable or debatable decision form time to time.

Those with Alzheimer’s may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers on a warm day or little clothing in the cold.  They may show poor judgment about money, like giving away large sums to telemarketers.


Problems with abstract thinking

Finding it challenging to balance a checkbook.

Someone with this disease may have unusual difficulty performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what numbers are and how they should be used.


Misplacing things

Misplacing keys or a wallet temporarily.

A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places:  an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.


Changes in mood or behavior

Occasionally feeling sad or moody.

Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may show rapid mood swings – from calm to tears to anger – for no apparent reason.


Changes in personality

People’s personalities do change somewhat with age.

The personalities of people with dementia can change dramatically.  They may become extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or dependent on a family member.


Loss of initiative

Sometimes feeling weary of work or social obligations.

A person with this disease may become very passive, sitting in front of the TV for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to do usual activities.

There are two versions of this chart.  If you would like the complete version as you see above, then click on Complete PDF for Alzheimer’s Disease Warning Signs.  If you would like a simplified version of the above checklist, then click on Simple PDF for Alzheimer’s Disease Warning Signs.

Until next time, may we both age youthfully!

Synergistically yours,

P.S.   As a convenience, I’ve also included links to the following articles on Alzheimer’s disease:

Alzheimer’s Disease Information!

Potential Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease – Part 1!

Potential Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease – Part 2!

African Americans and Alzheimer’s Disease!

Return from Ten Warning Signs to Alzheimer’s Disease

Return from Ten Warning Signs to Aging No More (Home Page)



The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

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