Knowing the early signs of dementia can guide you to know when it is time to speak to a medical professional for your loved one. There is not a cure for dementia but seeking advice early can improve a person’s quality of life.
Dementia affects a person’s brain function, with Alzheimer’s being the most common form of dementia and gets worse over time. It can affect a person’s memory and doing simple tasks, among other things. We will share with you 5 early warning signs that you can look for.
1. Memory Loss
One of the most noticeable signs of dementia is memory loss. A person might have trouble remembering information they have previously learned, where they placed needed items, or have trouble keeping track of scheduled appointments. Although people tend to forget things as they age, a person who does not have dementia can remember information at a later date such as what day it is, while a person with dementia may not remember what day, month or year it is even.
2. Difficulty Problem Solving
Another sign to look for is finding it difficult to follow the steps needed for a recipe, instructions, or directions. They may get frustrated and upset, not realizing why they are having such difficulty with tasks that were once quite simple for them. They may take longer than they used to when completing a task that they have done many times before.
3. Communication Issues
You might start to notice that you’re in a conversation with your loved one and they stop mid-conversation, are at a loss for words, or they repeat themselves. Their facial expressions may show the confusion they face in trying to remember. This is another sign that is associated with dementia. People can say the wrong name for a familiar object or forget the name making them difficult to understand. By rephrasing what they were saying and asking simple questions, this can help to ease the burden of having them feel frustrated.
4. Confusion with Present Time
Dementia can affect a person’s ability to keep track of time and not realize what is the present day or year. They may also experience confusion with recognizing their adult children and think they are still much younger than they actually are. Trouble with recognizing themselves when looking at their own reflection due to not being able to judge how many years have really passed can also be a symptom.
5. Changes in Personality
You might start to notice personality changes with the onset of dementia. Some of the more common changes you might see are your loved one getting upset more easily or not interested in activities that once brought them joy. Certain behaviors may seem out of character, but there could be underlying reasons for this. Someone who once might have been able to play the piano and now has trouble with it may experience symptoms of depression, which could affect a person’s personality.
With these signs in mind, you may be able to seek medical attention to learn how to provide some relief to symptoms you are noticing that is occurring. Although it’s not easy, it may be one of the best decisions you can make to live a more joyful life.
Contact us to learn more about our memory support and how we can help your loved one reach their highest potential.