June 29, 2018

Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is a collection of symptoms which can occur due to a variety of diseases. While dementia symptoms can include thought, communication and memory impairments don’t immediately conclude that it is dementia.

To be diagnosed with dementia a person needs to have at least two types of impairment which significantly interferes with their everyday life. A person with dementia might experience impairments in: memory, language, communication, focus and reasoning. Specific things to look for include:

  1. Having trouble finding the right words
    An early sign can be a person having difficulty explaining something or finding the proper words to express themselves. They all together have trouble communicating their thoughts.
  2. Short-term memory changes
    Subtle changes in memory, especially short-term can be an early symptom of dementia. They might remember details of events years ago but not what happened that same day.
  3. Mood Changes
    It is common with dementia to have a change in mood, showing signs of depression or personality changes. Mood changes aren’t always easy to see in yourself but are apparent to others around you.
  4. Trouble completing normal tasks
    A small shift in the ability to complete typical tasks may indicate early dementia. This may start off with difficulty in more complex tasks like playing games and shift to difficulty with familiar tasks, learning new things or following new routines.
  5. Apathy
    They might have lost interest in their hobbies and activities, may not want to go out or do anything fun and just seem flat with emotions.
  6. Confusion
    With early dementia thinking, memory or judgement may lapse and lead to confusion. They may not be able to hold normal interactions with people or remember faces.
  7. Losing a sense of direction
    Once familiar landmarks or directions may not be recognizable anymore. Following detailed instructions or directions might also be difficult.
  8. Repetition
    This is a common sign of dementia due to behavioral changes and memory loss. They might repeat the same questions or daily tasks as they don’t remember if they asked them or did the task.
  9. Struggle in adapting to change
    This can cause great fear for someone when they can’t follow what others are saying, can’t remember people or why they are doing something.

Some of these signs might not mean a person has dementia; they might just be normal signs of aging. Symptoms though should not be ignored if you are experiencing a few of these symptoms talk with a doctor.

If you or your loved one is diagnosed with dementia and in need of some additional help, give us a call. We have staff that is specially trained using the “Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease” program provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. Our caregivers are trained to provide effective and personalized hands-on dementia care, whether in the home, a day program, assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

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