Warning Signs of Dementia
Is your loved one showing these common dementia warning signs?
Warning Signs of Dementia – and What You Can Do About Them
Did you know there are more than 200 types of dementia? There’s also a big difference between the signs of aging (with normal memory loss) and the onset of dementia. In normal aging, we slow down both in mind and body and it takes more time to process information. This is normal, not one of the warning signs of dementia.
That’s why understanding this difference – plus a basic list of signs to watch for – is your best first step to understanding dementia and what’s best for people with memory problems and their caregivers.
This is a common early warning sign of dementia – forgetting appointments, names and other bits of recently-learned information. If you notice this, keep observing. This differs from common age-related memory loss which is about sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later. The more you watch, the better you’ll be able to detect if memory loss is problematic.
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Difficulty in Problem Solving
Another warning sign of dementia is when simple challenges and run-of-the-mill dilemmas become too daunting. When someone has trouble concentrating and it takes much longer to complete tasks, take note. However, do not jump to conclusions if you witness simple, occasional errors, like confusing a price or making a simple mistake in balancing a checkbook.
Familiar Settings Become Confusing
Have you noticed someone forget how they got somewhere or where they are? Another sign of dementia is when someone loses track of where they are even in a familiar setting. Likewise, they make lose track of what day it is – or even what is the season. Keep track of how often these things happen.
Everyone puts things in the wrong place once in awhile – but watch for a very important sign: When someone cannot retrace their step to find the misplaced item. A person with dementia may also accuse someone of stealing the misplaced item.
There are Rapid Mood Swings or Person Withdraws
This follows with the last statement above. Another warning sign of dementia is when someone’s personality changes quickly and extremely. Someone may become confused, afraid, anxious and even suspicious in response to what’s happening. They may become more explosive in their behavior when confused or unsure. Or they may shrink and become very withdrawn. Keeping track of behaviors listed on this checklist will be helpful to caregivers when they speak to doctors.
Forgetting words – even simple words – and what they mean…difficulty in following or joining a conversation. This warning sign of dementia also includes stopping abruptly in mid-sentence. Also, watch for problems in someone’s writing. Again, be aware that most everyone from time to time has difficulty finding the right word. Continue to observe to confirm whether problems with words in speaking or writing persists.
Talk to Professionals
There are other key early dementia warning signs, such as visual problems, showing poor judgment and other things to watch for. If you have observed a number of these signs and symptoms, consult a doctor. You will learn more about the different types of dementia that exist and what to watch for and do next.
Talk to the professionals at Coleman Adult Day Center, who specialize in providing healthy, stimulating and safe day activities for seniors, including those requiring memory care. This provides active days for your loved one and peace of mind for you.