Top 5 Dementia Signs To Look Out For in Your Loved One

Every three seconds, someone from each part of the globe develops dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease International). Dementia is a broad term for symptoms related to memory and reasoning decline, as well as a decrease in other thinking skills that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, with several other types including vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal disorders.

Recognizing the early signs of dementia is integral to timely medical intervention so that your loved one can get the care they need.

Sign #1: Memory Problems

While people — especially those who are older — may occasionally forget names or why they entered a room, those with dementia experience more severe memory lapses. This type of memory problem usually affects short-term memory more profoundly, making it challenging for individuals to remember new information while their long-term memories remain relatively intact in the early stages.

People with dementia might repeatedly ask the same questions and rely heavily on memory aids or family members for things they once managed independently. While these symptoms may seem subtle, they can affect daily tasks and lead to frustration and anxiety.

Sign #2: Increased Confusion

Senior man with caretaker

Dementia can make a person lose track of the passage of time. Consequently, people with dementia forget dates and seasons and have trouble understanding something, especially if it is not happening immediately. They can also forget where they are or how they got there. This confusion can extend to familiar environments, making them feel disoriented even in their own home or neighborhood. This disorientation can be distressing and increase the risk of wandering, posing a significant safety concern.

Sign #3: Difficulty With Concentration

Individuals with dementia often struggle with maintaining concentration and completing tasks that demand sustained mental effort. This difficulty can manifest as an inability to follow conversations, keep track of multiple steps in a process, or focus on detailed activities like reading or planning. As dementia progresses, this issue can significantly impact their ability to function independently, requiring increased assistance from caregivers.

Sign #4: Changes in Mood and Personality

Senior woman looking out window

Significant changes in mood and personality can be early indicators of dementia. Individuals may experience rapid mood swings, increased anxiety, depression, fearfulness, or agitation. They might become easily upset when out of their comfort zone or around people they do not know well.

Additionally, people with dementia may lose interest in hobbies and social activities they once enjoyed, leading to social withdrawal. These emotional changes can be confusing and distressing for both the individual and their loved ones.

Sign #5: Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

This symptom manifests when individuals struggle with daily activities that were once second nature to them. For example, they may find it hard to prepare a meal, manage their finances, or follow a recipe they have used for years. The frustration and confusion associated with these difficulties can lead to feelings of helplessness and decreased self-esteem. Over time, this decline in the ability to complete familiar tasks necessitates greater dependence on caregivers.

Seeking Professional Help for People With Dementia

Awareness and early action can make a massive difference in the journey with dementia. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, seek a doctor’s professional opinion. Early diagnosis can help manage symptoms more effectively and provide an opportunity to plan for the future. Currently, there is no cure for dementia. However, there are treatments and various lifestyle changes that can slow the condition’s progression and improve a person’s quality of life.