4 Tips For Spotting the Early Signs of Dementia

Dementia is a collection of symptoms that can occur due to a variety of possible diseases like Alzheimer’s. It is not an easy disease for the patient nor the family of the one who is affected. Sometimes it is unclear of what to expect with such a disease which can be troubling for family members in caring for their loved one. A key question is therefore how to spot the early signs of dementia?

Early signs of dementia - old man holding a ball. Lady next to him comforting him.

How do you spot the early signs of dementia?

Take a look at this signs of dementia infographic because it gives you some insight as to how the disease will progress and will help you to determine what steps you need to take in caring for your family member.

In addition, this article will highlight some tips for spotting the early signs of dementia in your elderly family members.

Early signs of dementia

Trouble in Communicating

All of us sometimes find it hard to communicate our feelings and desires to people we like or express our views at a new place of work, but this is because we are not familiar with the environment or a little bit afraid. This is not the same with dementia.

People showing early signs of dementia find it hard to communicate even with their families. It becomes hard for them to find words to communicate their thoughts. They keep on repeat themselves without even noticing it. Having a conversation with them might take longer than usual since they are having trouble finding words to communicate and are struggling to have a coherent conversation with you.

Memory Loss

In the early stages of dementia, the sufferer experiences memory loss, mostly the short-term memory. They forget very small details and conversations they just had a few minutes earlier. They may also forget important events and occasions like weddings and birthdays.

Memory loss may also involve forgetting the faces and voices of familiar faces, for example, those of friends or neighbours.

The sufferer may find their loss of memory deeply embarrassing because it makes them look inefficient. For example, they may not be able to remember why they came to see you or why they entered a certain room at a particular time. They may also forget what they wanted to say or how to do a certain thing that they could before.

Difficulty With Tasks

This is where the sufferer finds simple tasks that require organization and planning very difficult and this might be tasks that they were able to do before. For example, they may find the game of chess very difficult since it has a lot of rules. They may have been good at it before but they, later on, find the game extremely difficult.

Not only do they find small tasks impossible but they also lose interest in their hobbies and talents they had. They find activities that comprise of going out and having fun not as interesting as they should be.

The ability to learn new things generally becomes slower than usual. They will need to use more time to learn a new concept and sometimes they might not understand it at all. This will also affect their association with the people around them.

They also find routines hard to follow and if they can’t adjust it will be hard to do some tasks.

Early signs of dementia. Dementia spelled out in scrabble tiles

Photo credit: Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

Behaviour and Mood Changes

When a person starts to show sign of dementia they start having rapid moods swings and personality changes. For example, an outgoing person becomes oddly shy. They may show signs of apathy, withdrawal or depression.

Dementia can be a troublesome disease and it will progress at a different rate for each person. If you can spot some of the symptoms early on, you can act accordingly and help your loved one as best you can through this troublesome time.

For further information contact Dementia UK.

1 Comment

  1. Elaine Skye Clark
    11 December, 2017 / 4:52 am

    Very informative….think my dad has onset dementia… borderline on tests. It’s very sad to see him deteriorate.

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