progresses slowly, and changes take place gradually over time. People can live with Alzheimer disease for 3-25 years, although the average duration of the disease is about 8-10 years. In general, changes can be characterized in 3 phases.
Subtle changes occur, but the problem is sometimes hard to pinpoint. More often, family members recognize these changes rather than the patients themselves. Common changes may include:
Forgetfulness and attempts to hide frequent forgetting
Getting lost while driving
Loss of interest in hobbies
Inability to recall words
Decrease in sentence complexity
Problems with mathematical calculations
Getting lost in familiar surroundings
Difficulty with tasks that require fine motor ability, such as putting a key in the keyhole or buttoning a shirt
Difficulty in dealing with daily life tasks, such as managing finances, tending to household tasks, maintaining personal hygiene
Repeating questions and stories
Nonsensical wordy speech
Impairments in memory and mental functioning become more obvious. Long-term memory may still be intact, but short-term memory fails. Other changes include:
Becoming less sociable and less aware of the feelings of others
Needing help in making decisions
Needing assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing
Forgetting one’s own past history of personal events
Personality changes, such as sudden mood shifts, anger, worry, or fearfulness
Symptoms and diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/symptoms. Accessed October 2, 2017.