Dementia is a word referring to a set of symptoms affecting diverse aspects of thinking and brain function. Overtime it affects the way we live our lives. However, it is not a usual effect of aging, but as a result of physical diseases that damage the brain. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) there are about 50 million people who have Dementia and nearly 10 million new cases are recorded annually.
There are several signs of dementia that show your loved one has Dementia. Generally, it includes impairment in thinking, communication, and memory. Also, it could affect how you perform your daily activities. Even though this condition is commonly associated with the elderly, it is not a typical phase of aging. However, some of the signs and symptoms may go undetected for months or even years.
Are you worried your loved one may have Dementia? In this article, we have seven signs of dementia you should look out for. If you detect any of the symptoms, you should have your loved consult with a doctor.
Signs of Dementia
Here are the possible 7 Signs of Dementia That Your Loved One May Be Showing Now.
- Unable to Recall Experiences and Actions
One of the earliest stages of Dementia is the inability to recall fond memories or actions you have recently done. At times such a person may be aware of this situation since it is mild. However, this condition may advance later as days pass.
For instance, a senior with Dementia may keep asking the same question over and over again despite being answered. Another example is whereby a loved one can barely remember where they parked a car in a parking lot, and in severe instances, they cannot remember the color of their vehicle. Frequently, they do not remember many details about their lives.
It is crucial to watch the pattern at which this may happen to a loved one.
- Difficulty in Communication
You may notice situations whereby loved ones sometimes find it hard to express their thoughts or opinion verbally. Having a conversation with a senior with Dementia may be hard as they struggle to get the right words to express what they want to say. Besides, you may notice frequent pauses as they communicate, which is accompanied by repetitive sentences in the communication.
Due to this reason, conversations may take longer than the average time. It goes to the extent that they forget the names and faces of familiar persons such as family members whom they have spent many years together. Finally, they do not understand the given responses very easily.
- Changes in Personality and Mood
According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s, which a type of Dementia causes brain cells to die hence changing how a person acts. Among the frequent personality changes in a loved with Dementia include the following:
- They are easily upset or get angry very quickly
- Imaginations of things that do not exist
- Not opening up or believing people are hiding things from them
- Acting depressed.
- They are lacking interest in what is happening around them.
As a result, personality and behavior changes will be accompanied by frequent and unexplained mood changes. It may consist of experiencing sadness, anxiety, fear, or lack of sleep.
- Difficulty Completing Normal Tasks
Can you forget how to cook your favorite dish? Well, it can happen if you are in a dementia condition. At the early stages of Dementia, someone is unable to undertake complex tasks that he/she has been doing for years. For instance, a Mechanic with Dementia can no longer fix the same model of an engine he frequently fixed before he came down with the condition.
At times, this situation may advance; they won’t be able to remember how to do tasks they have done almost every day of their lives. Besides, it becomes hard for them to learn new routines or new things in life. It leads to dependency on others or a spouse to help them do some of the simple and necessary tasks in life.
- Disorientation and Confusion
According to Alzheimer Europe, people with Dementia often become more disoriented in time and space. It’s usually a result of confusion caused by alterations in in the brain resulting in memory loss. Besides, they can struggle to tell when it’s time to eat or sleep.
It is not surprising to find a senior with Dementia lost in his own home or being unable to recognize his/her own room. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
Another instance of disorientation maybe like getting lost in the hometown you have lived for years, having unstructured days and loss of time whereby noon seems like 5 pm to you. Also, you even forget to eat your meals.
Also, because a dementia patient’s memory and thinking are interrupted, they may experience confusion, such as misplacing their keys or finding your loved one going into the wrong sex restroom at public places.
Insomnia is an early sign of Dementia. Whenever you see a loved regularly wake up at night and cannot sleep at all, there is a problem. According to a study conducted in 2018, it showed that patients with primary insomnia have higher longitudinal risks of developing Dementia.
Studies have shown that apathy is a sign of Dementia whereby a person lacks interest or concern in what he/she has been doing. Apathy has a massive impact on how your memory functions.
Conversely, this is the most common symptom of Dementia, yet it is not given enough attention. When a loved one depicts it, you should not undermine it but rather seek help from a doctor as early as possible.
In many cases, those with Dementia tend to keep distance even from their spouses, children, and closest friends. Such a sign is an alarm; they need to be checked for Dementia, and it should not be ignored.
What are the possible causes of Dementia?
A reflection on signs and symptoms alone is not enough if you do not know the possible causes of Dementia. Below are some of the possible reasons:
- Vascular cognitive impairment
- Alzheimer’s disease (It is the leading cause of Dementia)
- Lewy body dementia
- Traumatic brain injury/ Stroke
- Parkinson’s disease
- Long term alcohol or drug use
When you notice the above-discussed signs of Dementia in your loved ones, you should take the initiative to discuss the matter with them. Nevertheless, it can be a sensitive topic to talk over since they might be confused, nervous, and even struggling to deal with their situation. Due to this reason, you should give the conversation ample time at an appropriate place. Besides, it would help if you are not judgmental towards them.
If they do not seem to open up, you should seek help from a General Practitioner (GP). They will help handle the situation, and if the dementia condition is at an advanced level, they might mitigate its effects. Finally, as a caregiver for a loved one already with a dementia condition, you should be mindful of how you converse and approach them since they are susceptible.
Here at Compassionate Caregivers, our RN’s and Caregivers are trained in how to deal with and help slow down the effects of Dementia. We know different tips and tricks to help improve cognitive function. If you want help caring for your loved one with Dementia, please contact us at 614-710-0078 or fill out our contact form here.