The hallmark Alzheimer's symptom is forgetfulness. Not the usual loss of keys in someone who has always lost his keys, or the forgetting a nephew's birthday, but true forgetfulness. According to the National Institute on Aging, there are seven danger symptoms of Alzheimer's. They are:
- Asking the same question over and over again.
- Repeating the same story, word for word, again and again.
- Forgetting how to cook, or how to make repairs, or how to play cards - activities that were previously done with ease and regularity.
- Losing one's ability to pay bills or balance one's checkbook.
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings, or misplacing household objects.
- Neglecting to bathe, or wearing the same clothes over and over again, while insisting that they have taken a bath or that their clothes are still clean.
- Relying on someone else, such as a spouse, to make decisions or answer questions they previously would have handled themselves.
Depending on the stage of Alzheimer's disease (mild, moderate, or severe), there are other symptoms such as personality changes, hallucinations, losing control of the bowel and bladder, and wandering away from home for no reason.