Category Archives: Washington University School of Medicine
Warning Sign of Alzheimer’s: Challenges in Planning and Solving Problems
Posted on April 17, 2012
The 10 warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s are a good tool for determining when you should be concerned about changes you are seeing in yourself of someone you love. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees and often in a different order. For some the first signs may be memory changes, while for others it could be the challenges of planning and solving problems.Every day we are faced with tasks that require us to makes sense out of our world. Some tasks appear pretty simple like making macaroni and cheese for dinner. For someone with Alzheimer’s that kind of planning is too complex. Think about how you might plan to make this simple meal. Get out the noodles, fill a pan with water, turn on the stove, wait for the water to boil, add the noodles, drain the noodles after finding a strainer, finding milk, cheese and butter to add in the right measurement and stirring it all together. For someone who is experiencing Alzheimer’s disease leaving out one of those steps would not be unusual but it would make for an odd dish if the step forgotten was to add the noodles. Other ways the second warning sign is exhibited might be forgetting how to dial the phone, missing appointments, inability to pack a suitcase with the right clothes for the place you are visiting or forgetting to pay the bills when you’ve always been a stickler for getting things done on time.Not only will someone with this warning sign experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, they may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.Making occasional errors when balancing your bank account is a typical age-related change in our ability, but if you increasingly confused about doing simple math or doing things around your home or at work that used to be easy for you, it may be time to see your doctor. To learn about the other 10 warning Signs click here. You can also call or email our 24/7 helpline 800.272.3900.Elaine Stumpo is the Regional Director for the Alzheimer’s Association in Durango, Colorado. She has been with Association for 13 years and serves the nine counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel, Mineral, Ouray and Hinsdale.