10 TYPICAL EARLY SIGNS OF DEMENTIA
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a wide range of symptoms that affect a person’s brain function with Alzheimer’s being the most common type of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is a myth that cognitive functioning always worsens as a person gets older. While minor forgetfulness can be a normal part of the aging process, if symptoms start to affect a person’s everyday life, they may be serious.
Although there is no cure for dementia yet, a doctor can help slow the progression of the disease and ease the symptoms. A live in carer or care at home can also help to improve a person’s quality of life.
Here are ten typical signs of dementia, which may develop gradually, to watch out for. If a person or their loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, they should contact a medical professional. For a person to receive a diagnosis, they usually have to experience two or more of these symptoms, which would be severe enough to interfere with their daily life.
1. MEMORY LOSS
Memory loss is a common dementia symptom. A person with dementia may find it difficult to recall information they have recently learned, and they may rely on friends and family or other memory aids to keep track of things. Most people forget things more frequently as they age. However, they can usually recall the information later if their memory loss is age-related and not due to dementia.
2. DIFFICULTY PLANNING OR SOLVING PROBLEMS
A person with dementia may find it difficult to follow a plan or instructions. For example, they may have difficulty following a recipe while cooking. This is one of the many areas that a live in carer can help by cooking tasty and nutritious meals.
3. DIFFICULTY DOING FAMILIAR TASKS
A person with dementia may find it hard to complete tasks they regularly do. For example, they may have trouble changing settings on a television, operating a computer, making a cup of tea, or getting to a familiar location.
4. CONFUSION ABOUT TIME OR PLACE
Dementia can make it hard to judge the passing of time. People may also forget where they are, how they got there, and why. They may find it hard to understand events in the future or the past and may struggle with dates.
5. CHALLENGES IN UNDERSTANDING VISUAL INFORMATION
Visual information can be difficult for a person with dementia. It can be hard to read, judge distances, or work out the differences between colours. Someone who usually drives or cycles may start to find these activities challenging. They might get lost traveling to familiar locations.
6. PROBLEMS WITH WRITING OR SPEECH
A person with dementia may find it hard to engage in conversations. They might forget what they are saying or what somebody else has said, and it may be challenging to enter a conversation. People may also find that their spelling, punctuation, and grammar get worse. Sometimes, a person’s handwriting becomes more difficult to understand.
7. TENDENCY TO MISPLACE THINGS
An individual with dementia may not be able to remember where they leave everyday objects, such as a TV remote control, phone, wallet, and keys. Misplacing possessions can be frustrating and may lead to a person accusing others of stealing.
8. POOR JUDGMENT OR DECISION MAKING
It can be hard for someone with dementia to understand what is fair and reasonable. This may mean they pay too much for things or buy things they do not need. A carer can help by either going shopping with someone or doing the shopping on their behalf. Live-in carers can also help with personal hygiene as people with dementia sometimes pay less attention to their presentation.
9. WITHDRAWAL FROM SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A person with dementia may become disinterested in socializing with other people in home life and at work. They may become withdrawn and not talk with others or pay attention when others are speaking to them. Additionally, they might stop participating in hobbies, sports, or activities with other people.
10. CHANGES IN PERSONALITY OR MOOD
An individual with dementia may experience mood swings or personality changes. For example, they may become irritable, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may also become more disinhibited or act inappropriately.
If you or a loved one receive a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, speak to one of our care coordinators who can offer support and assistance with arranging either live-in or visiting care at home. For further information, please call +44 (0)20 7351 7171