Ever since your dad passed away, your elderly mother has been living alone in the house you grew up in. But lately she’s been very forgetful, and can’t seem to remember major events that happened just in the past few years. Mom also keeps “misplacing” everyday items around her home, or putting them in strange places. Could she have Alzheimer’s?

Watching someone you love deal with Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating, especially when it’s a parent. If you’re concerned that your mom or dad has Alzheimer’s, there are several ways to find out for sure.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that makes brain cells waste away and die. It’s the most common cause of dementia, a term that broadly describes a continual decline in a senior’s thinking, social skills and behavior that eventually interferes with their ability to carry out normal daily activities. According to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org), dementia’s early signs are related to memory loss, and may include:

  • Forgetting the names of family members and everyday objects
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Repeating statements and questions over and over
  • Forgetting important conversations, appointments or events
  • Routinely misplacing household items, or putting them in strange places
  • Struggling to come up