Dementia is a term for the loss of memory and other mental abilities caused by damaged nerve cells in the brain. Though it may be severe, it may not be sudden, instead presenting itself as isolated symptoms over time.
The good news? Some dementia symptoms can be reversed if they are caught early. Watch for these signs and symptoms in your loved one:
1. Memory Loss
Busy people sometimes forget names or appointments. People with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia regularly forget learned information such as dates or events and don’t remember them later.
2. Difficulty Communicating
Sometimes, people with dementia have a hard time following a conversation and may repeat themselves or stop in the middle. They may call things by the wrong name. This sign can pop up in speaking or in writing.
3. Challenges Problem-solving or Completing Tasks
It’s normal for an aging loved one to make some errors when adding a tip on a receipt or balancing a checkbook. People with dementia may experience changes in their number abilities, have difficulty concentrating and trouble following a simple recipe. This can extend to daily tasks like driving to a familiar place or remembering the rules of a favorite card game.
This is more than just not knowing the day of the week. People with dementia may become disoriented, having a hard time understanding something if it’s not currently happening, and forget how they arrived at a certain place. They also may use poor judgment in daily life, such as spending money frivolously.
5. Psychological Changes
People with dementia may suddenly experience depression, anxiety, paranoia or hallucinations. They may become more easily upset or fearful of others. These mood swings are more severe than regular mood changes.
If you believe you’re seeing one or more of these symptoms in your loved one, it’s important to talk with a doctor who can help determine the underlying cause.
Some older adults with dementia may need special care. Kingsley Hills offers a positive alternative. Our Reflections memory care program is a supportive environment designed for the individual, with a goal to give meaning and value to each resident’s life.