Even in the earliest stages, Alzheimer’s can make it tough for an adult to maintain their normal routine. Seniors and their spouses often fear they will be forced to move or to be separated if adult children discover one of them has this common form of dementia. In some cases, older adults go to great lengths to hide what they fear are the early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Tricks Seniors Use to Try to Hide the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Here are a few behaviors that might indicate the older loved one in your life is trying to hide troubling symptoms from you:

  • Discouraging Visitors: When a senior family member who has always loved spending time with their children and grandchildren begins finding reasons to avoid you, it can be a warning sign. They might tell you they know you are “busy with your job” or that they will be “taking a long vacation.” The real reason just might be they are afraid you will notice the changes and realize something is wrong.
  • Hiding Mistakes: An older adult who knows there is a problem but isn’t quite sure what it is may hide their mistakes. From falling victim to a door-to-door scam to mismanaging the checkbook or getting lost when driving, they work hard to keep you from finding out there is a problem.
  • Excuses: When an aging loved one seems to be making a lot of excuses for their forgetfulness or for unusual behaviors, it can be a sign of something more serious than the fatigue they blame it on.
  • Changes in Activity: If your mother always loved cooking but has recently given her favorite cookbooks away or if your father dropped out of his longstanding poker night, it might be related to problems with memory. Pastimes that require adults to follow directions or problem solve become more challenging as Alzheimer’s progresses.
  • Speaking for a Spouse: While some partners are known for finishing one another’s sentences, a change in this dynamic can be another red flag. A spouse may be trying to cover for their partner’s memory loss. They may feel it is necessary to do so to protect their partner and their marriage.

The good news is that there are other illnesses that mimic Alzheimer’s disease and many of them are treatable with early intervention. Seeking the help of your primary care doctor might reveal the diagnosis really isn’t Alzheimer’s at all.

Conditions that Mimic Alzheimer’s Disease

A few conditions that can look like Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Thyroid disorder
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Medication interaction or side effect
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

You can learn more about the signs of Alzheimer’s by visiting 8 Behaviors to Monitor if You Suspect a Michigan Senior has Alzheimer’s.