Dementia is a term used to describe the gradual loss of cognitive function that can occur as a result of neurological changes to the brain. A number of different diseases can cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. Dementia is characterized by the decline of a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember, and tends to get worse with the passage of time. Eventually, these symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily function.
Early-Stage Indicators of Dementia
Here are several early-stage indicators or signs of dementia to watch for in yourself or those for whom you provide care:
- Memory Loss: One of the most common symptoms of dementia is difficulty recalling information that has been recently acquired, such as instructions, upcoming events, and dates. It is important to note that occasionally forgetting and then remembering things is normal and not due to dementia.
- Difficulty with Everyday Tasks: If it becomes harder to complete routine tasks, this could be an early sign of dementia. Examples include having trouble making a cup of tea, paying bills, or navigating to the grocery store.
- Time and Location Confusion: Judging the passage of time may prove difficult, as can remembering where a person is at any given moment. Dates in the future and past can become mixed up.
- Losing Track of Things: It can become more difficult to remember where things are kept, such as car keys, remote controls, documents, etc.
- Struggling with Writing or Speaking: Engaging in conversations can be difficult because it is hard to track what has already been said. Writing, grammar, and spelling may become harder.
Other Signs of Dementia
Other indicators can signal early signs of dementia, such as challenges with planning and problem solving, poor decision-making or judgment, and difficulty with visual perception. It is also common for people who are experiencing dementia to become disinterested in social activities. They may stop participating in hobbies or sports that involve others and may isolate themselves at home.
Although dementia is not an inevitable part of aging, age is the primary risk factor. If you are caring for a loved one who may be experiencing dementia and you are looking for local resources and support, contact our team at Windward Life Care. The help you seek is just a phone call away.