There is an average delay of 20 months between the first recognition of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder (ADRD) and the seeking of physician help. One reason for this delay is tendency for families to miss early symptoms until the onset of behavioural disturbances. Families may provide more timely accounts with prompted questions. It is important to diagnose cognitive impairment early since there are potential benefits to early treatment. The purpose of this article is to help guide caregivers in identifying a list of symptoms that reflect first indicators of ADRD, based on a study of 68 spouse caregivers of patients with ADRD.
Key words: Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, caregivers, diagnosis, primary care.