Early Signs Of Dementia: When To Be Concerned

Curated by vivien

April 20, 2023

A substantial deterioration in mental and physical capacities is brought on by dementia. However, the early signs of dementia can be unnoticed. It could be challenging to distinguish between normal aging and the early stages of dementia. The symptoms at the early stages are usually subtle and your loved one may be concealing them.

Dementia is a term that used to describe many conditions that affect brain health, and each has its own set of symptoms, further complicating the situation. If you suspect your elderly is experiencing dementia symptoms, a visit to the doctor is a good idea. Treatment for dementia in its early stages may enhance a senior’s health and maybe halt further cognitive impairment.

What are the ten warning signs of dementia?

People are affected differently by dementia. The early signs of dementia can also differ from person to person. However, there are certain early warning signs to look out for. You can spot indications that your parent may have dementia by looking for trends in these behaviors.

If you detect any of the ten following signs of dementia, you should take your loved one to see a doctor. The doctor may run test to ascertain what is the cause of your family member’s symptoms.

Memory loss

Memory loss is a key sign of dementia. It may be an early sign of dementia if your loved one is repeating themselves or needs aids like sticky notes to help them recall things. Another indication of dementia may be a persistent inability to remember the names of close friends and family.

Dementia-related memory loss is not a typical aspect of aging. As we become older, forgetfulness is normal. However, it is concerning when short-term memory loss results in complete events being forgotten.

For example, if Mom recalls grabbing a bowl for cereal, leaving the cupboard doors open may not always be an indication of dementia. She might be experiencing short-term memory loss if she can’t remember having breakfast.

Difficulty in solving problems

If your family member is struggling to solve problems or make plans, it may be a sign that their executive functioning skills are declining. This could be yet another dementia symptom.

You might notice your loved one finding it difficult to follow recipes they have enjoyed cooking for years. Or perhaps they struggle to pay their bills on time.

Issues with routine chores

Difficulty completing routine chores with difficulty can indicate early stages of dementia. This could include challenges with household chores, at work or during leisure activities.

Keep an eye out for your family member who may be having trouble driving, using cell phone or going shopping. It’s common to dismiss these changes as signs of aging, but if you notice any strange behavior, follow your instincts.

Uncertain about the time or location

It may be an early sign of dementia if your loved one has problems remembering dates or locations. Forgetting the day, the month, the season or significant occasions could be a warning sign.

Keep account of any instances when you observe a family member has trouble keeping track of time. It’s probably nothing to worry about if dad forgets the day of the week for a moment. However, it can be a cause of alarm if he doesn’t recognize the month or forgets that family is coming around for dinner.

Visual imagery and balance issues

Dementia not only affects people’s cognitive capacities, but it also affects them physically. Sleeping problems, forgetting to eat, wandering and difficulties judging distances are some of the early physical symptoms of dementia. Another indication that someone is experiencing the physical effects of dementia is they spill or drop things frequently.

Keep in mind that your loved one may be hiding signs of dementia out of embarrassment or concern about the changes. So keep an eye out for clues like bruises from a fall or a shattered glass from the previous day.

Issues with writing and speaking

It might be challenging for someone with dementia to find the correct words since dementia alters how they speak and perceive language. They could also find it difficult to follow conversations. Similarly, people with dementia have trouble to write or spell complete sentences.

Keep an eye out for any loss in writing skills. They might be finding it difficult to comprehend the story that their grandchild is telling them or to write a note in a birthday card.

Misplacing items

How can you know if someone has dementia as people occasionally lose things? When someone with dementia misplaces something, they might not be able to go back and find it. Or they might place things in odd locations, such as putting kitchen utensils in bedroom dressers.

Poor judgement

Dementia symptoms may also include displaying diminished or poor judgement. Your loved one might start mismanaging their money, ignoring their hygiene, falling for scams repeatedly or not caring for a pet properly.

For instance, it is a serious issue if your dad used to be well-groomed but is currently refusing to shower. Additionally, keep an eye out for impulsive or obsessive spending as these could be indications of cognitive deterioration.

Withdrawal from activities

Your relative may find it challenging to engage in things they formerly loved due to dementia. Therefore, they might steer clear of certain scenarios in order to avoid bringing attention to memory errors. A loved one who is conscious of their limitations may stop participating in social activities and hobbies.

Did your parent begin to skip church or abandon a quilting project? These could indicate that they are having trouble in there situations.

Changes in mood and personality

It could be a sign of dementia if there are abrupt changes in personality or mood swings. Your family member may develop fears, suspicious, paranoia, depression or anxiety.

Dementia may also be indicated by elevated anger. A person with dementia may become hostile if they feel frustrated or overpowered. A person with dementia who is generally serene and quiet might:

  • Scream or shout
  • Become violent
  • Swear at you
  • Damage things

What should you do if you think your parent has dementia?

Follow these instructions to help improve your parent or other relative’s health and well-being if you believe they may have dementia.

  • Embrace your gut feeling. Note the symptoms, when they appear, and how frequently they appear if you notice that a member of your family is acting out of the ordinary. Consider the changes you’ve seen in recent years.
  • Learn the symptoms of dementia. Knowing what to look for will be made easier by educating yourself on the various symptoms. Additionally, it can aid in ruling out reversible disorders that are occasionally mistaken for dementia, such as delirium.
  • Talk to your parent. It’s crucial to express your concerns to them before new symptoms appear. Choose your opening strategy for the discussion. Be aware that things may not go as you had hoped. Above all, show respect and lend a hand.
  • Talk to a doctor. Your loved one will be on the road to better care and treatment alternatives if you can make a diagnosis sooner. Tell the doctor everything about the symptoms you’ve noticed.
Categories Eldercare

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