The ‘early warning sign’ when cooking that can signal Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's: Dr Chris discusses the early signs of condition

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Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia. It is a progressive condition that results in the decline of brain function. Due to this it affects memory and thinking skills.

As with any condition the earlier you spot signs, the earlier treatment can be sought.

Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms in yourself or someone you know it is best to get a GP appointment as soon as possible.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there is one warning sign that could appear when someone is cooking.

As part of its list of 10 signs to look out for, it notes that someone with Alzheimer’s “may have trouble following a familiar recipe”.

This comes under the symptom of challenges in planning or solving problems.

It explains: “Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.

“They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

“They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.”

However, this is not to be confused with a “typical age-related change”, which is making “occasional errors when managing finances or household bills”.

The other nine warning signs of Alzheimer’s are as follows.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life

This is “one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease”, the association says and involves “forgetting recently learned information”.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks

The Alzheimer’s Association says: “Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organising a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favourite game.”

Confusion with time or place

Someone with Alzheimer’s might lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

Vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s among some, which can cause issues with balance and reading. It adds: “They may also have problems judging distance and determining colour or contrast, causing issues with driving.”

New problems with words in speaking or writing

“They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves,” it says. “They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (for example, calling a watch a ‘hand-clock’).”

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

It says: “A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.”

Decreased or poor judgement

Alzheimer’s might cause changes in someone’s judgement or decision-making skills.

“For example, they may use poor judgement when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean,” the association says.

Withdrawal from work or social activities

It adds: “A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favourite team or activity.”

Changes in mood and personality

“Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious,” the association concludes. “They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.”

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