Dementia is a condition that affects cognitive abilities such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning. It is crucial to recognize the signs and symptoms of dementia early to provide proper support. This article will help you understand the common signs and symptoms of dementia and steps you can take to address them.

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

  • Memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities: This includes forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information repeatedly, or relying on memory aids.
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks: This includes forgetting how to cook a favorite meal or play a favorite game.
  • Problems with language: This includes forgetting simple words or substituting unusual words, making speech difficult to understand.
  • Disorientation to time and place: This includes getting lost in familiar places or losing track of dates, seasons, and time.
  • Poor or decreased judgment: This includes giving away large sums of money to telemarketers or wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather.
  • Problems with abstract thinking: This includes difficulty understanding abstract concepts such as numbers or money.
  • Misplacing things: This includes putting things in unusual places or accusing others of stealing.
  • Changes in mood or behavior: This includes becoming easily upset, anxious, or suspicious.
  • Changes in personality: This includes becoming fearful, irritable, or apathetic.
  • Loss of initiative: This includes becoming passive or losing interest in activities.

It is important to note that some treatable medical conditions can cause dementia symptoms, so it's important to determine the cause. Nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems, low blood sugar, and problems absorbing vitamin B-12 can develop dementia-like symptoms or other personality changes. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor for a complete assessment if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of dementia.

Steps for Family Members

  1. Schedule a Doctor's Appointment: Seek a thorough evaluation from a doctor to determine the cause and rule out other cognitive issues.
  2. Keep a Symptom Journal: Document symptoms and their occurrences to assist the doctor in making an accurate diagnosis.
  3. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle: Encourage a balanced diet, regular exercise, and social engagement to support cognitive function.
  4. Seek Support: Consider joining a support group or seeking counseling to help cope with the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Where You can Get Support

  1. Alzheimer's Association: Offers information, support, and resources for people with dementia and their families.
  2. National Institute on Aging: Provides information on dementia, including symptoms, types, and diagnosis.
  3. Alzheimer Society of Canada: Offers information, support, and resources for people with dementia and their families.
  4. Dementia Care Central: Provides information and resources for caregivers of people with dementia.

In conclusion, recognizing early signs of dementia is vital for seeking timely support. Consult a doctor if you notice these symptoms in your loved one. Joining support groups and accessing the provided resources can help families navigate the challenges of dementia caregiving.

Resources

How to Convince Your Loved One to Seek Help for Dementia

What Are Some Early Signs or Symptoms That a Person is Living with Dementia? (video)

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's and Dementia

The 10 warning signs of dementia

Dementia – early signs

What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis

My Loved One with Dementia

Understanding Dementia (Alzheimer's & Vascular & Frontotemporal & Lewy Body Dementia) (Video)

How Do I Know Which Dementia I'm Looking At? (Video)

Dementia Training material (Free)

Promoting Meaningful Relationships with Dementia Patients through Validation Therapy

Unlocking the Power of Validation Therapy in Compassionate End-of-Life Care

Validation Therapy: A Valuable Tool for Families and Healthcare Teams

Best Practices for Approaching Combative Dementia Patients

The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

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How Do I Know You? Dementia at the End of Life

The Dementia Caregiver: A Guide to Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders (Guides to Caregiving)

Sundown Dementia, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia Explained

The Caregiver's Guide to Dementia: Practical Advice for Caring for Yourself and Your Loved One (Caregiver's Guides)

Ahead of Dementia: A Real-World, Upfront, Straightforward, Step-by-Step Guide for Family Caregivers

The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide: An 11-Step Plan to Understand the Disease and How To Cope with Financial Challenges, Patient Aggression, and Depression Without Guilt, Overwhelm, or Burnout

Dementia Care Companion: The Complete Handbook of Practical Care from Early to Late Stage

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The amount generated from these “qualifying purchases” helps to maintain this site.

The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias

Dementia Home Care: How to Prepare Before, During, and After

The Dementia Caregiver's Survival Guide: An 11-Step Plan to Understand the Disease and How To Cope with Financial Challenges, Patient Aggression, and Depression Without Guilt, Overwhelm, or Burnout

Dementia Caregiving: A Self Help Book for Dementia Caregivers Offering Practical Coping Strategies and Support to Overcome Burnout, Increase Awareness, and Build Mental & Emotional Resilience

Navigating the Dementia Journey: A Compassionate Guide to Understanding, Supporting, and Living With Dementia

Ahead of Dementia: A Real-World, Upfront, Straightforward, Step-by-Step Guide for Family Caregivers

Four Common Mistakes by Caregivers of loved ones with Dementia and what do differently (video)

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