3 Early Signs of Dementia

The term “dementia” is used as a general means of describing a vast assortment of symptoms that have the capability of interfering with the daily life of the sufferer. Examples include the loss of memory, the deterioration of language skills, issues in solving problems, and complications with the thought process.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease; however, medical professionals have now identified just over 400 types of dementia. These include – but, are not limited to – Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Lewy body, frontotemporal, Huntington’s disease, and vascular dementia.

If you are reading this, chances are, you are concerned about the health of a loved one and whether or not they may have a form of dementia. In this guide, we will expound on the top 3 early signs that could indicate dementia as a culprit.

  1. Subtle-Based Changes with Short-Term Memory

We all know and understand that complications associated with the memory may be an early sign of dementia. In the beginning, these changes are very subtle and pertain more to the short-term memory.

For example, your loved one may forget where they placed something, they may set out to do something and forget what it is, or they may forget if they ate breakfast and/or what they had to eat in a given day.

  1. Mood Changes

Dementia is a condition that affects both judgment and the emotions. In the earliest stages, you may find that your loved one experiences a slight shift in their personality. A typically quiet, reserved person may become more outgoing and talkative, or vice-versa.

A person that is commonly very calm may start to become anxious. The individual may start to experience some degree of depression. There may be an emotional flatlining where the person becomes extremely apathetic and loses interest in the things that they once retained an interest. They may even start to isolate themselves from people that they once enjoyed being around.

  1. Problems Finding Words

Many dementia sufferers will experience an issue referred to as “aphasia”. This means that they have problems finding the right words. They may indicate that the word is on the “tip of their tongue” or that they know the name of someone or something, but just cannot think of it.

You may find that their speech fluency is experiencing problems and that naming objects becomes a real task. They may say a word that sounds similar to the word that they are trying to say.

For example, if they spilled something on the floor, they may say “There’s a spill on the flower”, but they meant “floor” instead of “flower”. They may come up with weird names for item. A window may be a “wall mirror”. A watch may be a “arm clock”. Pants may be “leg covers”.

Getting Help

If you feel as if your loved one is developing dementia, it is time to seek out help. You should encourage them to go to their doctor and have a memory test and a physical exam conducted.

If the doctor feels as if your loved one may have dementia, they will often refer them to a healthcare professional that specializes in officially diagnosing dementia, such as a psychiatrist, a geriatrician, and/or a neurologist.

In the meantime, you should find out information on memory care units and other residential and rehabilitative locations that may be able to help your loved one. For more information, contact our team here at Beacon Senior Advisors today by dialing the following: 973-384-1177

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