Dementia is a medical term that describes various symptoms of illnesses that affect the brain. This condition is not curable, but with early diagnosis, it can be managed and brought to a level that allows a happy and healthy life. So, what are the symptoms to keep an eye on?
Probably the most common symptom of early stage of dementia is trouble with short-term memory. These changes can be quite subtle and not very easy to catch, but in time, they become quite obvious. A person usually struggles to remember events that happened recently, even that particular morning, while they clearly recall something that took place years ago. Frequent misplacement of items, aimless wandering around the house or disregarding schedules is also something to keep an eye on.
Difficulty in communication
Another common symptom of early dementia is difficulties in communication. If you notice a person struggling to explain something, retell the events or express their feelings, it might be a red flag for dementia. It might take longer for them to convey a message and conversation with sufferers can be often difficult and slow.
Difficulty in following story lines
Early dementia sufferers often struggle with following complicated storylines. Following certain TV shows, movies and game shows with a lot of conversation might become increasingly harder. This might be due to the fact that they forget certain words and meanings behind them.
Struggling with normal tasks
A subtle difficulty to perform everyday tasks might indicate that the person might suffer from early dementia. It starts with a shift in abilities to perform more complicated tasks like doing taxes or playing games, so keep an eye on these. As the disease progresses, the person will start to struggle with easier tasks which can prevent them from leading a normal, healthy and safe life. In that case, it’s best to opt for some sort of specialized dementia home care equipped with experienced staff that can help the residents deal with their disease and assist them with tasks. Another great thing about these homes is that the company residents get to enjoy which battles loneliness and depression and offers emotional support.
Difficulty in following directions
Another thing that starts to deteriorate with early dementia is the sense of direction and orientation in space. Landmarks that were once familiar stop making sense and directions that are well-known start to fade which can result in getting lost and confused. They also start struggling with explicit step-by-step instructions.
Struggling to deal with change
New experiences that come with change are often very scary to people with dementia. As they begin to forget faces, struggle with following conversations and directions and get lost on the way home or to the store, dementia sufferers start to crave routines that are familiar. Because of that, you might be afraid to try new things and bring any change in their lives.
Repetition of words or actions
Memory loss and behavioral changes caused by dementia often trigger repetitions of actions and words. If you notice a person repeating tasks that are already finished, collecting items that they already own, repeating questions or going over subjects that are already covered, it might mean they suffer from dementia.
Frequent mood changes and swings in personality are also common signs of early dementia. Depression, irritability and even apathy can be quite easy to notice, especially in people who used to be lighthearted and calm. Persons with dementia often lose interest in their hobbies, their friends and family and even start to avoid going outside. So, you or someone you know used to be very extroverted but is now reserved and vice versa, it can raise an alarm.
All of these symptoms might be a normal part of growing old, but you still shouldn’t ignore them. If you know anyone with early dementia sighs or you start to exhibit them yourself, make sure to visit a doctor.