Dementia: Spot the Early Signs

Dementia is not just one disease. The term refers to a variety of symptoms that affect memory and a person’s ability to think, communicate, and process information. According to the World Health Organization, more than 55 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases occurring every year. It is true that Alzheimer’s disease is the second most common cause of dementia, however it is not the only one. 

To be able to recognize dementia early in your loved one, you should learn to identify some key symptoms that are common warning signs of dementia. 

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Memory problems do not necessarily indicate dementia. Those with dementia may also have difficulties with language skills, focus, communication, and reasoning/problem-solving.

Subtle Changes in Short-Term Memory

Dementia can begin with memory problems. Most of the time, the changes are subtle and involve short-term memory. In the case of dementia, a person is likely to:

  • Lose track of where they put items they need.
  • Have difficulty remembering why they entered a room.
  • Forget what their plans were for the day.

Apathy

Another early sign of dementia is apathy. Dementia can make a person lose interest in activities or hobbies they previously enjoyed. There may be a decrease in their desire to socialize with their friends or family.

Confusion

Those with early dementia may have trouble understanding time, date, and place. Additionally, they may have difficulty remembering faces. 

For someone with dementia, confusion can occur in a variety of situations. It is possible that they may forget their usual daily routine, where they put something, or someone they just met

When to Contact a Doctor

Remember that not all memory problems and forgetfulness indicate dementia. Memory lapses are a normal part of aging, and they can also be caused by other factors, such as: 

  • Multitasking.
  • Getting distracted.
  • Fatigue.

If you feel that your loved one is having worsening memory issues along with other signs of dementia, contact their doctor.

You can learn more about dementia by checking out this fact sheet from the World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia

Find the Care They Need

Our residents at Heather Hill Healthcare Center receive a quality of life that is not compromised by dementia. It is our mission to maintain a strong sense of identity and purpose for our residents. Our memory care unit enables residents to enjoy their favorite activities in a secure setting, preventing them from wandering off.

For more information about our memory care services and how they can help your loved one, call (727) 849-6939 and speak to a staff member.

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