Nobody wants to think about dementia. Although it’s hard to discuss, spotting it early is essential to your well-being. Protect yourself and your loved ones by learning the early signs of dementia.
Dementia is a frequently misunderstood condition that affects the senior population. Contrary to stereotypes, dementia does not affect every senior, and it is not inevitable. Dementia is an umbrella term that describes what happens when the brain is affected by a degenerative condition. Many different conditions can cause dementia.
There is no cure for dementia. However, that doesn’t mean a diagnosis isn’t helpful. Detecting dementia early allows you to identify treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. It also gives you time to make a plan to live with dementia, and get the supports you need in place. Knowledge is power when it comes to this diagnosis. The earlier you know what’s going on, the better!
There are ten early signs of dementia that doctors recommend watching out for:
Early Signs of Dementia
Some memory loss occurs naturally with age. However, if you find your short-term memory particularly lacking, that can be a sign of a larger problem. If you struggle to retain new information, or rely on memory aids like calendars to keep track of information that you used to be able to easily remember, you may be experiencing dementia-related memory loss.
Another early symptom of dementia is difficulty in following plans and multi-step processes. Simple processes like recipes and driving directions may become more challenging than they used to be. Everyday tasks that require planning, such as completing chores, can also become difficult.
Dementia can also affect your ability to follow your daily routine and complete simple everyday tasks. If making a cup of coffee or turning on your TV suddenly becomes a puzzle, that can be a sign something is wrong.
Time and Place Confusion
People who struggle with dementia often do not have a good sense of time or place. If you are frequently confused about the date, or your current location, pay attention.
Processing Visual Information
Dementia can make it difficult to understand visual information. Things like judging distance, understanding colors, and reading signs can be challenging as a result.
Verbal and Written Communication
Some people with dementia find it difficult to express themselves verbally. They may struggle for words, and become frustrated in conversations. In addition, people with dementia may have difficulty writing things down and forget grammar and spelling rules.
Misplacing Common Items
If you have trouble keeping track of items you use every day, like keys or a remote control, that can be a sign of dementia. You may also experience frustration and confusion when trying to locate the items. Of course, many people without dementia are prone to losing things as well!
Difficulty with Judgement
Dementia can make it hard to make good judgement calls. People with dementia can sometimes be talked into making poor choices with money or other resources. They also may lose the ability to make judgements about self-care, such as appropriate cleanliness.
Because of the symptoms above, people with dementia can often withdraw socially from friends and family. They may stop reaching out and communicating, and may give up on hobbies and activities that involve others.
Changes in Personality
People with dementia might experience unpredictable personality and mood shifts. They can struggle with depression or unexplained frustration and anger. They also might forget or disregard social norms.
If you find yourself experiencing any of the early signs of dementia, it is imperative to talk to your doctor right away. A diagnosis can lead to the help you need and a better, easier life. Don’t wait!
If you’re looking for a relaxing senior living community with a focus on preventative healthcare, contact the Crossings at Riverview. Our welcoming community provides peace of mind for families and their loved ones by offering assisted living, respite care, and memory care services. Tour our community, meet our friendly staff, and see our amenities first-hand. Our goal is to make our community feel like home for all of our residents. To schedule a tour, contact us online. We look forward to meeting you!