Skip to content

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's, Says CDC

Knowing these can help you spot an early case.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that affects many people yearly, and is a common cause of dementia. Most people know it involves a change in memory, usually occurring when people grow older. However, early signs of Alzheimer's can be detected, and the earlier it is detected, the earlier it is treated. The CDC released a list of ten early warning signs of Alzheimer's. If you or a loved one has one or more of these symptoms, make sure to see a doctor immediately. Read on for all 10—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life

Pensioner reading message on mobile phone

The main thing Alzheimer's affects is a person's memory. Forgetting small things in your daily life, like annual events. This can als make them repeat themself throughout the day or need more aids, like notes. People with Alzheimer's also are likely to forget things that had just happened.


Challenges with Planning or Problem Solving

older woman with gray hair and head against window

A sign of Alzheimer's is struggling to either plan things or problem solving, usually with things that you do regularly, like paying bills, or cooking common recipes. 


Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

female cook standing at the hob in her apron tasting her food in the saucepan with a grimace as she finds it distasteful and unpalatable

Alzheimer's causes people to struggle with familiar tasks. Household tasks like cooking, and outside tasks like driving to places, using a phone, or shopping, can be a struggle.


Confusion with Time & Places

An old man touches his head. Headache. Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's causes people to struggle with the time and place they are in. This usually results in misunderstanding dates or dates in the future, or forgetting when events are happening.


Struggles with Understanding Spaces & Visual Images

senior woman with adult daughter at home.

Alzheimer's affects the brain, which means that the brain struggles with its functions. Specifically, with your body's motor skills and vision system. People struggle with their balance systems, which makes them more likely to spill and drop things. People also have difficulty with distance, which makes them more likely to run into objects they thought were further away.


Speaking & Writing Problems

Senior mother and attractive daughter looking at each other

Alzheimer's affects a person's reading, spelling, writing, and even speaking skills. People often forget common words, or struggle to find a word to use. Conversations also become difficult to understand and follow along with. 


Misplacing Things & Struggling to Retrace Steps

Senior woman conducting an interview

Alzheimer's causes people to be more likely to misplace objects. Since it is difficult to remember where they were previously, they cannot retrace their steps. This could likely lead to them getting lost. 

RELATED: 50 Unexpected Health Problems After 50, Say Experts


Decreased or Poor Judgement

Surprised senior mature woman counting bills at home.

A person's judgement and decision making skills drastically decrease with Alzheimer's. This leads to people being easier to influence or scam. However, bad judgement can also affect a person's daily activities around the house. This can result in poor hygiene, poor finances, and struggling to care for a pet. 

RELATED: How You Could Delay Dementia, According to Science


Anti-Social Behavior

Portrait of worried senior man sitting on sofa in living room

Alzheimer's makes people not want to go out and engage in social functions or their regular activities. People don't want to go to events like church or doing other usual activities. This can also affect how people pay attention to things, like television programs. 

RELATED: Subtle Signs You May Have Dementia, According to Scienc


Changes in Personality

Senior lady taking notes, sitting in front of computer, touching her head

Alzheimer's can drastically or slightly change a person's normal personality. The most common personality changes are either getting a short temper or being easier to upset, or being more fearful and suspicious of things. If you or someone you know is experience these symptoms, contact a doctor, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Anna Bechtel
Anna Bechtel is a freelance writer currently based in Hamden, CT. Read more about Anna