Recognition And Coordination Difficulties
A person showing early signs of dementia may put everyday things in unusual places . They may have difficulty recognising familiar items such as a chair, soap, toothbrush, cutlery, kettle, coffee jar, cooker or fridge.
Signs of a loss of coordination skills can include struggling to undo or do up buttons, to tie or untie shoes and neckties, and to use a hair brush or razor. They may be more subtle, such as putting down a cup of tea too close to the edge of a table or having difficulties lifting a teapot or kettle or using a knife to cut vegetables or fruit.
Are Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease The Same Thing
Although they are often used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. According to the World Health Organization saying it contributes to 60-70% of dementia cases. Many people use the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” interchangeably, but in reality Alzheimers is the cause and dementia is the effect.
Stroke, head injuries and even Parkinsons disease are also causes of dementia.
Who Is The Most At Risk Of Developing Dementia
When it comes to dementia there are some risks that we can and cant control.
Factors that we cant control that increase our risk of developing dementia are age , genetics and sex women have a greater chance of developing dementia than men.
The good news is that there are things we can control that can help minimize our risk of developing dementia. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet are both recommended. Making sure youre physically active everyday is important and Frank insists exercising your brain is equally as crucial through hobbies and puzzles.
Eliminating smoking and excessive alcohol consumption while adhering to a wholesome diet like the Mediterranean diet can help keep your body and mind in shape.
Another strategy is to watch out for high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes and to treat those because any factors that prevent heart attack and stroke will also prevent or delay dementia, Franks says.
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Being Confused About Time Or Place
Dementia can make it hard to judge the passing of time. People may also forget where they are at any time.
They may find it hard to understand events in the future or the past and may struggle with dates.
Visual information can be challenging for a person with dementia. It can be hard to read, to judge distances, or work out the differences between colors.
Someone who usually drives or cycles may start to find these activities challenging.
A person with dementia may find it hard to engage in conversations.
They may forget what they are saying or what somebody else has said. It can be difficult to enter a conversation.
People may also find their spelling, punctuation, and grammar get worse.
Some peoples handwriting becomes more difficult to read.
A person with dementia may not be able to remember where they leave everyday objects, such as a remote control, important documents, cash, or their keys.
Misplacing possessions can be frustrating and may mean they accuse other people of stealing.
It can be hard for someone with dementia to understand what is fair and reasonable. This may mean they pay too much for things, or become easily sure about buying things they do not need.
Some people with dementia also pay less attention to keeping themselves clean and presentable.
Watch For These Symptoms
Urban says to be alert for symptoms of dementia, including:
- Forgetting familiar names and faces: People of all ages struggle to remember names. There is no need to worry if an aging loved one cannot recall a persons name after meeting him or her for the first time. However, forgetting the names of close friends or failing to recognize them at all is a sign its time to seek medical help.
- Unable to recall experiences and actions: A common finding in dementia is difficulty in remembering conversations or experiences. For example, a loved one may ask the same question multiple times or repeatedly tell the same story during a conversation. Also, patients with dementia may not recall specific details of an event. Dont be overly alarmed if someone doesnt recall the exact year he or she took a trip to Europe, but be concerned if he or she has no recollection of ever traveling overseas.
- Financial issues: Be on the lookout for overdue bills and irregular spending, as both are common signs of memory impairment in people who are typically careful with their finances. Dementia can cause people to overlook unpaid bills or purchase items they already own or simply do not need.
- Getting lost: Struggling to remember how to get to familiar locations such as home, church or a favorite restaurant is a warning sign of dementia.
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Apathy As An Early Warning Sign Of Dementia
One of the other early signs of dementia is apathy or listlessness. One might notice that a loved one has started losing interest in hobbies or activities that they once enjoyed. A person with these early symptoms may not enjoy going out or doing fun stuff anymore. They may also start to lose interest in spending time with family and friends. This apart, they could also become emotionally distant.
Early Signs Of Dementia
Its not easy to spot the early signs of dementia in someone we are caring for. If a person is struggling to remember a name, follow a conversation or recall what they did yesterday, many of us may put it down to the fact that the person is getting older. But it may well be a warning that they are in the early stages of dementia.
Family, friends and care workers are likely to be the first to see the signs and play a key role in encouraging a person receiving care to see a GP.
Because I was with my wife continuously, I think I was less likely to recognise some of the changes that were taking place than people who saw her less regularly.
A carer speaking about his wifes early signs of dementia, healthtalk website
A doctor can help establish whether a person has dementia or a treatable illness or condition that can cause dementia-like symptoms, such as depression, a urinary infection or nutritional disorders.
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Struggling To Adapt To Change
For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can cause fear. Suddenly, they cant remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They cant remember why they went to the store, and they get lost on the way home.
Because of this, they might crave routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.
Failure In Communication As An Early Warning Sign Of Dementia
One of the other important early warning signs of dementia includes finding it difficult to communicate ideas and thoughts in the way one wants. A person might not find the correct words to say at a given time. One may know what they want to say, but will fail to manifest them in words. This could often lead to frustration.
A conversation with elderly people could take forever to conclude as they find it difficult to say what they want to say coherently.
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Struggling To Find The Right Words
Finding it hard to properly communicate your thoughts is another early sign of dementia. Someone with this disease might find it hard to express themselves in words or explain something theyre thinking about. Sometimes theyll even stop mid-sentence and forget how to continue. Someone with dementia will take a longer time expressing their feelings and thoughts.
Symptoms Specific To Frontotemporal Dementia
Although Alzheimer’s disease is still the most common type of dementia in people under 65, a higher percentage of people in this age group may develop frontotemporal dementia than older people. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 45-65.
Early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may include:
- personality changes reduced sensitivity to others’ feelings, making people seem cold and unfeeling
- lack of social awareness making inappropriate jokes or showing a lack of tact, though some people may become very withdrawn and apathetic
- language problems difficulty finding the right words or understanding them
- becoming obsessive such as developing fads for unusual foods, overeating and drinking
Read more about frontotemporal dementia.
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Missing Appointments Or Frequently Forgetting The Time
We may forget an appointment or a task that needs to be completed once and a while, but if this once-in-a-blue-moon becomes a frequent occurrence, it may be time to see a doctor. Forgetting the time of day or how much time has passed, according to Sevil Yasar, MD, PhD, a geriatrician and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, is a major predictor of dementias development.
What Are Early Warning Signs Of Dementia
You might be familiar with the advanced symptoms of Alzheimers or other forms of dementia but detecting it early can be the key to maximizing your loved ones quality of life. Whether youre actively searching for care or simply curious about warning signs in yourself or a loved one, were here to help. Read on to learn all about the common early warning signs of dementia.
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Confusion Can Also Be An Early Warning Sign Of Dementia
The early onset of dementia could be characterized by bouts of confusion. A person might not be able to think or could be confused when it comes to recognizing faces or expressing ideas during a conversation. Interacting with family and friends could also become a strain. Confusion could arise over remembering plans made for the next day.
Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Look For
How do you know if a senior is beginning to develop dementia or just feeling the natural effects of aging? Medical tests can be performed to diagnose this illness, but there are also early warning signs you can look for during your regular interactions with your loved one. Here are eight of them:
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Dementia And Alzheimers The Difference
Most people are under the false impression that dementia and Alzheimers are one and the same and tend to use the two terms interchangeably. The fact, however, is that they are both different from each other.
While dementia is an umbrella term under which a variety of brain disorders fall, Alzheimers is just one of those disorders.
Alzheimers is a progressive brain disease characterized by death and damage of brain cells, especially those involved with memory like the cortex and hippocampus. The debilitating symptoms of Alzheimers such as memory loss, disorientation, impaired judgment and flawed decision-making abilities are attributed to the build up of plaques and tangles in the brain. There are a variety of risk factors for Alzheimers, ranging from old age to genetics.
So far, researchers have been unable to find a cure for Alzheimers but certain drugs are being developed to reduce the symptoms.
How To Find Help
If you think your loved one has dementia, you can get help. A primary care physician may be the best person to take your loved one to first. He or she will likely recommend you to a specialist if dementia is suspected. Once your loved one is officially diagnosed, you can arrange appropriate therapy and treatment.
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Difficulty Finding The Right Words
Another early symptom of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be difficult, and it may take longer than usual to conclude.
Are There Different Types Of Dementia
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause, affecting between 60 to 80% of those with dementia, but there are other types to be aware of:
- Vascular dementia, when a series of strokes reduce the oxygen flow to the brain
- Lewy body dementia, which is caused by a buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain
- Frontotemporal dementia, which affects the part of the brain responsible for personality and behavior
When a person has symptoms of more than one type, its called mixed dementia. In some cases, memory loss and confusion can be caused by factors that can be treated or even reversed, such as vitamin deficiencies, hypothyroidism, medication side effects, and depression, says Caccappolo.
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Find The Right Living Arrangements
Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging, especially if the impacted person tends to wander and get lost. To keep your loved one safe, it may be time to consider finding the ideal living arrangements. Elder Care Alliance offers safe and welcoming older adult communities. They also offer memory care services for those who have early, moderate or advanced symptoms of dementia. Elements of memory care services include purposeful social roles, individualized learning approaches and specialized communication techniques. These approaches can all help your loved one thrive despite a dementia diagnosis.
Early Warning Signs Of Dementia Every Man Should Know
As an older adult, or the loved one of an older adult, it is important to know certain signs and red flags concerning prevalent diseases. For many seniors, dementia is a great concern. Studies show that it is a valid source of anxiety among seniors over the age of 65. According to an Alzheimers Association study, 1 in 9 seniors over the age of 65 have Alzheimers Disease the number only increases when other types of dementia are included.
Since knowledge is power, and since early intervention can often lead to treatment that increases the quality of life, the more you know about dementia, the better. Specifically, the more you know about dementia in men, the more you can watch for warning signs showing in the older man in your life.
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Four Early Signs Of Dementia To Look Out For In Your Loved Ones
Nearly everyone will experience some degree of memory loss and forgetfulness as they age. The big question: When do these common symptoms foreshadow dementia?
Karli Urban, MD, a geriatric medicine specialist with MU Health Care and the Department of Family and Community Medicine, says dementias warning signs are often missed.
The early symptoms of dementia can be very subtle, Urban says. Most commonly, its a gradual and progressive memory loss that goes undetected for months or even years. As a result, the official diagnosis will often come late in the onset of the disease.
When dementia is diagnosed early, affected individuals and their loved ones have more time to prepare for the road ahead, take necessary safety precautions and explore treatment options that might slow the progression of the disease.
Trouble With Spatial Awareness
Dementia causes changes in the brain, which can affect how a person handles spatial awareness. It can also affect their sense of direction.
For this reason, your loved one might be clumsier than usual. They might also get lost when trying to go to and from places, regardless of whether or not theyve been there before. Even if you write out step-by-step instructions for your senior to go somewhere, they still might get lost just because their sense of direction is compromised.
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Is It Dementia The Early Warning Signs
Your senior loved one may brush off their memory lapses and occasional confusion as old-timers disease, or a senior moment. However, chronic difficulties with memory, planning and completing the tasks of daily living and issues that worsen over time may be early signs of dementia.
While anyone can have minor memory issues or lose some mental acuity in later years, dementia is not a natural part of aging. If you suspect your loved one is having problems that could indicate dementia, even in its early stages, its time to consult with their doctor for an assessment.
Changes often occur so gradually that family has adjusted over time and hasnt noticed a decline in function. The senior may have been able to compensate well enough to disguise issues. Or the family may be reluctant to see and admit that their loved one is having trouble that may require ongoing care.
It can take a skilled eye to detect minor confusion that goes beyond normal aging issues.
Common early warning signs of dementia:
Dementia Home Care
Belvedere Home Care can do an in-home assessment with your loved one to determine a level of care that is appropriate for their health and daily living needs. We are experts in working with families and seniors who are dealing with dementia. We can help keep loved ones comfortable and safe in the familiar surroundings of their own home as long as possible.