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Symptom Recognition Tool

Welcome to the
Symptom Recognition Tool

We've designed this tool to help you identify certain symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The report generated after the exercise may help you discuss these observed symptoms with your loved one's doctor, which can help stage the disease.

This exercise is offered as a resource for caregivers. The exercise and the final report are not intended to suggest that any treatment for Alzheimer's disease, including NAMENDA XR® (memantine hydrochloride), may provide a benefit to any of the specific symptoms presented or identified.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR or an AChEI prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Step 1

You will be taken through a series of questions. You will be asked whether you have noticed a symptom, and if so, how severe the symptom is, and how often it occurs.

Step 2

Answering these questions will generate a report, which you can print to facilitate a meaningful discussion with the doctor. You must answer each question to get your report.

This will take several minutes, and you'll be able to finish it in one sitting. Remember, only a doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis. This is not meant to be a diagnostic tool.

Get Started

Caregiver Tip

How to respond

Stay calm.
Although being called by a different name or not being recognized can be painful, try not to make your hurt apparent.

Show photos and other reminders.
Use photographs and other thought-provoking items to remind your loved one of important relationships and places.

Try not to take it personally.
Alzheimer's disease causes your loved one to forget, but your support and understanding will continue to be appreciated.


Memory loss is probably something you've noticed in your loved one. But the progressive nature and increasing degree by which thinking and memory are affected is important to recognize.

  1. Has your loved one been unable to recall personal details, like his or her address or phone number?


Please make a selection in order to continue.

Caregiver Tip

How to respond

Look for a reason behind the repetition. Try to find out if there is a specific cause or trigger for the behavior.

Provide an answer. Give the person the answer that he or she is looking for, even if you have to repeat it several times.

Use memory aids. If the person asks the same questions over and over again, offer reminders by using notes, clocks, calendars, or photographs, if these items are still meaningful to the individual.

Accept the behavior, and work with it. If it isn't harmful, don't worry about it. Find ways to work with it.

  1. A person with Alzheimer's may do or say something over and over — like repeating a word, question, or activity — because of forgetfulness.
Select the image(s) that most closely represent(s) what you've seen.

Next Previous step

Please make a selection in order to continue.

Caregiver Tip

Responding to confusion

Respond with a brief explanation.
Don't overwhelm your loved one with lengthy statements. Instead, clarify with a simple explanation.

Show photos and other reminders.
Use pictures and other thought-provoking items to remind them of familiar relationships and places.

Offer corrections as suggestions.
Avoid explanations that sound like scolding. Try "I thought that was a fork," or "I think she is your granddaughter, Julie."


Alzheimer's disease can make it difficult for your loved one to recognize familiar people, places and things. He or she may forget the purpose of common items, relationships, or family members' names.

  1. Have you noticed confusion in your loved one, as a result of being unable to recognize familiar people, places, or things?

Next Previous step

Please make a selection in order to continue.

Caregiver Tip

Better communication

Keep good eye contact.
Show the person that you care about what he or she is saying.

Avoid criticizing, correcting, and arguing.

If the person uses the wrong word or cannot find a word, try guessing the right one.

If you don't understand what is being said, ask the person to point or gesture.

Use short, simple words and sentences.
Talk slowly and clearly.

Repeat information and questions.
If the person doesn't respond, wait a moment. Then ask again.

Give simple explanations.
Avoid using logic and reason at great length. Give a complete response in a clear and concise way.


Alzheimer's disease can gradually diminish people's ability to think and communicate like they used to.

  1. Have you noticed any of the following changes in communication? Check all that apply.

Next Previous step

Please select at least one in order to continue.

Caregiver Tip

Signs of wandering behavior

A person may be at risk for wandering if he or she:

Comes back from a regular walk later than usual.

Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as going to work.

Tries or wants to "go home" even when at home.

Has a hard time locating familiar places like the bathroom, bedroom, or dining room.

Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets done (eg, moves around pots and dirt without actually planting anything).

  1. Have you found your loved one aimlessly wandering?

Next Previous step

Please make a selection in order to continue.

Caregiver Tip

Help with getting ready

Try to have the person get dressed at the same time each day, so he or she will come to expect it as part of the daily routine.

Encourage the person to dress himself / herself to whatever degree possible. Plan to allow extra time so there is no pressure or rush.

Arrange clothes in the order they are to be put on to help the person move through the process.

Hand the person one item at a time or give clear, step-by-step instructions if the person needs prompting.

  1. Does your loved one have a hard time getting dressed or grooming themselves independently (eg, choosing what to wear, taking clothes off and putting clothes on, and struggling with buttons or zippers, or with maintaining everyday hygiene)?
Select the image(s) that most closely represent(s) what you've seen.

Finish Previous step

Please make a selection in order to continue.

Thank You

Reset form

You have just completed the Symptom Recognition Tool exercise.
You can now generate and print your report, and use it as a guide when you talk to your loved one's doctor about treatment options during your next visit.

    • Intro