Early Signs Of Dementia
While aging is a natural part of life, it can be sad to see your loved ones unable to do the things they once did. However, it is a common misconception that just because your loved one is forgetting things they must be experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Forgetfulness is common among elders and is not always a sign of one of these diseases. A dementia diagnosis requires that the individual have at least two different impairments that have a significant impact on everyday life. Impairments in language, communication, focus, or reasoning may accompany memory loss and are a sign of possible dementia. Other early signs of dementia are described below.
If your loved one is suddenly acting differently, he/she may be experiencing a change in mood that often accompanies dementia. Depression is a common symptom of early dementia. You may also notice a difference in personality such as a change from shy to outgoing. This could be the result of dementia affecting normal judgment.
Does your loved one suddenly seem uninterested in usual activities? If your loved one no longer wishes to participate in activities he/she once enjoyed or does not seem interested in spending time with family or friends, he/she may be suffering from early dementia.
Can’t Complete Tasks
If your loved one is no longer able to complete more complex tasks that he/she have previously been able to do such as playing games with many rules, he/she may be experiencing early dementia. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks may accompany a newfound difficulty to learn how to do something new as well or adjust to a new routine.
In the early stage of dementia, confusion may stem from lapses in memory, judgment, and train of thought. Confusion may cause your loved one to forget faces or be unable to interact with others.
Someone with early dementia may have a hard time following a storyline. A classic sign of early dementia, difficulty following, means that the individual may forget what a word means or be unable to comprehend the flow of a conversation or a TV show.
Dementia typically impacts spatial orientation and sense of direction. Your loved one may forget landmarks that they once knew and forget how to reach a familiar destination. Someone with early dementia may have difficulty following directions or instructions.
If your loved one is experiencing one or more of the aforementioned symptoms along with memory loss, he/she may be experiencing the onset of dementia. It’s important to understand exactly what is affecting your loved one and getting him or her properly diagnosed is an excellent first step. Bring up your concerns to your loved one’s doctor who can then refer you to a neurologist who can better understand the situation.