Helpguide Logo

A trusted non-profit guide to mental health and well-being

 

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Men Walking Down Trail

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be frightening both for you and your loved ones.

It’s normal to worry about what will happen and how you will adjust, and it’s also normal to grieve as you deal with this enormous adjustment. Educating yourself about your disease and making important decisions early can help you feel more in control during this difficult time. Starting treatment right away is also important, as early intervention can prolong independence and help you continue to live life fully. You’ll also want to work hand in hand with your family members and make sure that caregivers have the support and assistance they need.

 
 

Does your loved one have memory loss? Use this quiz to test whether a person's memory loss needs further assessment. Show the quiz »

Memory

1. Does your loved one have memory loss?

2. If yes, is his or her memory worse than a few years ago?

3. Does your loved one repeat questions, statements, or stories in the same day? (2 points)

4. Have you had to take over tracking events or appointments, or does your loved one forget appointments?

5. Does your loved one misplace items more than once per month, or so that he or she can't find them?

6. Does your loved one suspect others of hiding or stealing items when he or she cannot find them?

Orientation

7. Does your loved one frequently have trouble knowing the day, date, month, year, or time, or check the date more than once a day? (2 points)

8. Does your loved one become disoriented in unfamiliar places?

9. Does your loved one become more confused outside the home or when traveling?

Functional Ability (excluding physical limitations)

10. Does your loved one have trouble handling money (tips, calculating change)?

11. Does your loved one have trouble paying bills or doing finances? (2 points)

12. Does your loved one have trouble remembering to take medicines or tracking medications taken?

13. Does your loved one have difficulty driving or are you concerned about him or her driving?

14. Is your loved one having trouble using appliances (e.g. microwave, oven, stove, remote control, telephone, alarm clock)?

15. Does your loved one have difficulty completing home repair or other home-related tasks, such as housekeeping?

16. Has your loved one given up or significantly cut back on hobbies such as golf, dancing, exercise, or crafts?

Visuospatial Ability

17. Does your loved one get lost in familiar surroundings, such as their own neighborhood? (2 points)

18. Does he or she have a decreased sense of direction?

Language

19. Does your loved one have trouble finding words other than names?

20. Does your loved one confuse names of family members or friends? (2 points)

21. Does your loved one have trouble recognizing familiar people? (2 points)

Please answer all the questions

Score:

Interpreting the score:

  • 0 to 4: No cause for concern
  • 5 to 14: Memory loss may be MCI, an early warning of Alzheimer's
  • 15 and above: Alzheimer's may have already developed

This questionnaire is not intended to replace professional diagnosis.

Source: BMC Geriatrics

 
 

Topic articles

Alzheimer’s and dementia: the basics

Types of dementia

Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and dementia

 
 
 
 

Featured articles

Alzheimer's Disease: The earlier you recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and seek help, the better your chances of getting the care you need and maximizing your quality of life. Learn about the warning signs and how it is diagnosed. MORE »

Alzheimer's and Dementia Prevention: Learn about the lifestyle factors that can help you reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slow down, or even reverse, the process of deterioration. No matter your age, there are steps you can take to support your brain health. MORE »

Dementia and Alzheimer's Care: Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia can be a challenging journey, not only for the person diagnosed but also for their family members and loved ones. Developing a long-term plan can help. Learn more about what you can do. MORE »

 
 

Related topics

Caregiving

Being a family caregiver can be rewarding but it can also be very challenging. Whether you’re devoting yourself to the unpaid care of an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled family member, help is available. There are numerous resources and community services available for caregivers—everything from adult day care centers to respite services. MORE »

Grief and loss

It’s natural to grieve when faced with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Learn more about the grieving process and what you can do to process these complicated feelings. MORE »