Dementia isn’t actually a disease, rather it’s a number of symptoms that can be caused by disease, one of which the leading is Alzheimer’s. It can also be a result of brain damage from an injury or a stroke. In observing a loved one, be careful to pay attention to see if there are more symptoms than just memory loss, as memory loss doesn’t necessarily indicate dementia. Here are 10 warning signs:
Trouble with short term memory. Your loved one may remember incidents from years past, but struggle to remember why they went into a particular or even what they had for breakfast.
Changes in mood and/or personality. Look for signs of depression or a change in behavior from being outgoing to quiet and reticent to participate in social activities.
Difficulty in communication. Your loved one may struggle to find the right words to explain something. It seems to take longer to have a conversation.
Being repetitive. You might notice them asking the same question several times even after you’ve answered. Or, they might repeat the same task, such as attempting to clean something after having cleaned it earlier.
A failing sense of direction. They more not recognize typical landmarks or perhaps forget regular routes.
Difficulty completing tasks. They might have trouble balancing the checkbook, or have trouble playing games that have a lot of direction.
Easily becoming confused. When memory lapses occur, they might forget faces, or the narrative of what they were discussing, and have difficulty getting back on track.
Difficulty following storylines. You might notice them having to ask about the storyline while watching television.
Trouble staying focused. When you’re having a conversation with your loved, they may stop listening and you have to repeat yourself because they’ve stopped paying attention.
Apathy. Typically your loved one loses interest in hobbies, participating in family affairs and seems emotionally flat.
These are some of the common signs of early dementia and if you see more than one of them it’s important that you seek professional attention for an accurate diagnosis.