Signs of Dementia in Men
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- Signs of Dementia in Men and Women
- Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men?
- The #1 risk for Alzheimer’s is AGE.
- What to do if you’re showing early signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia
Signs of Dementia in Men and Women
Of the 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 who are living with Alzheimer’s, two-thirds are women. This might be surprising as men have a shorter life expectancy and are more susceptible to diseases like heart disease.
Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men?
The first and most common explanation for why more women develop Alzheimer’s than men has to do with what we mentioned above: life expectancy. A woman’s average life expectancy is about 81 years old while a man’s is about 76.
A Woman’s Average Life Expectancy
A Man’s Average Life Expectancy
The #1 risk for Alzheimer’s is AGE.
Once you are over the age of 65, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years. Because women live longer, they simply have a higher chance of developing the disease.
Women also tend to score higher on cognitive testing that can detect Alzheimer’s even if they have mild cognitive decline, which can indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s. This means women may not receive a proper diagnosis when being tested and, therefore, miss out on crucial early-intervention care.
Lastly, some evidence suggests women with the APOE-e4 genotype, an inherited gene most strongly linked to Alzheimer’s, may be at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s than men who also carry the APOE-e4 genotype.
While women are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s, this doesn’t mean men shouldn’t watch for early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s as well, especially if you are over the age of 65. The early signs of Alzheimer’s are generally the same for both men and women, but symptoms can display differently in men than in women.
10 early signs of Alzheimer’s disease for both men and women
1. Memory loss
Dementia-related memory loss affects and disrupts your everyday life. Forgetting something you recently learned, needing to ask the same question repeatedly and relying on hand-written notes or other memory aids can be early signs of Alzheimer’s.
2. Trouble with planning
You might have a hard time planning or following through with a plan, including simple everyday plans such as following a recipe or keeping track of your bills.
3. Difficult with completing tasks
If you routinely start a task, such as writing your grocery list or cleaning your kitchen, and then find that you forget to finish it or don’t have the attention span to, this could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
4. Disorientation with time or place
If you’re losing track of time, what season it is, what day it is or you forget where you are or feel confused about how you got there, this disorientation could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s.
5. Vision problems
If you’re struggling with vision or judging distances, this could also be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
6. Confusion in conversation and difficulty finding words
Not being able to think of a word when writing or speaking and struggling to keep up with a conversation or remember the first part of a conversation are signs of early Alzheimer’s.
7. Losing or not being able to keep track of items
Another sign of Alzheimer’s disease includes losing items regularly and not being able to keep track of them like you used to. (This is why many people with Alzheimer’s will accuse others of stealing.)
8. Poor judgment
Perhaps you were once frugal and made good decisions with your money. With Alzheimer’s you may find that you are suddenly making poor judgment calls with your finances or other important areas of your life.
9. Social isolation
Due to the other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, you may be more inclined to isolate yourself, avoiding social gatherings in order to avoid conversation mishaps, confusion or embarrassment.
10. Mood and personality shifts
Another early sign of Alzheimer’s includes moodiness or a change in personality. You might be more anxious or irritable than normal. Family members and close friends will likely notice this before you do.
Signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s specific to men
Depression has been linked to Alzheimer’s in men and women, but men who have experienced depression have a higher risk of developing dementia than women who have experienced depression.
Men are more likely to wander from home, gatherings or public places if they have dementia.
Aggression may be a behavior for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is largely because those with Alzheimer’s and dementia have a hard time communicating effectively. When they feel misunderstood or don’t appreciate what their caretaker is doing, they may lash out. Men are more likely to do this than women.
4. Improper sexual behavior
Men are also more likely to engage in improper sexual behavior, which could be due to a loss of filter and a lack of understanding or awareness of social boundaries.
What to do if you’re showing early signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia
If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the behaviors above, visit your doctor. He or she can conduct preliminary tests or refer you to a neurologist who can make a proper diagnosis.
Medications, mental health issues or other health conditions could be causing mild cognitive decline. It’s not always dementia or Alzheimer’s, but you must see a specialist to determine the cause of your symptoms. If you do receive an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, you will work with your doctor to determine the best plan of care that will ensure your quality and longevity of life.