Overall Changes In Usual Mood Behaviour And Personality
Sometimes any change that is recognised by yourself or by a loved one can indicate something isnt quite right. From our likes to our dislikes, our attitudes and our behaviours, we all change over time, but people experiencing dementia can have more sudden personality or behavioural changes. They may become quite anxious and fearful for no apparent reason. Or they can become withdrawn from an activity they once loved.
Conditions With Symptoms Similar To Dementia
Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the above symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, excessive long-term alcohol consumption, infections, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.
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.
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Talking With A Doctor
After considering the persons symptoms and ordering screening tests, the doctor may offer a preliminary diagnosis or refer the person to a Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinic, neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist.Some people may be resistant to the idea of visiting a doctor. In some cases, people do not realise, or else they deny, that there is anything wrong with them. This can be due to the brain changes of dementia that interfere with the ability to recognise or appreciate the changes occurring. Others have an insight of the changes, but may be afraid of having their fears confirmed.One of the most effective ways to overcome this problem is to find another reason for a visit to the doctor. Perhaps suggest a check-up for a symptom that the person is willing to acknowledge, such as blood pressure, or suggest a review of a long-term condition or medication.Another way is to suggest that it is time for both of you to have a physical check-up. Any expressed anxiety by the person is an excellent opportunity to suggest a visit to the doctor. Be sure to provide a lot of reassurance. A calm, caring attitude at this time can help overcome the person’s very real worries and fears.Sometimes, your friend or family member may refuse to visit the doctor to ask about their symptoms. You can take a number of actions to get support including:
- talking with other carers who may have had to deal with similar situations
- contacting your local Aged Care Assessment Team
Early Warning Signs Of Dementia To Look For In The Elderly
Are you worried that you or a loved one might be developing dementia? Find out more about how to recognise the warning signs of dementia. An early diagnosis will allow you to access the right treatments and to better plan for the future.
- Alcohol abuse
If the GP is concerned, they may refer you to a specialist at a memory clinic.Seeing a dementia specialistThe person who diagnoses dementia will normally be a specialist, such as a psychiatrist , a geriatrician or a neurologist . They will carry out more in-depth tests than your GP did, including:
- Memory and mental assessments
- Blood tests
- Brain imaging tests
- Helps your loved one remain safe at home
- Helps to understand different behaviours and needs
- Promotes and encourages involvement in stimulating and engaging activities
- Builds confidence and encourages engagement
- Builds self-esteem and physical strength
Our care is bespoke and personal to find the best possible solution for you or your loved one to live happily and safely at home.Extra resources
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New Care Covid19 Information December 2021
All New Care homes are open to new admissions and we are now conducting on site e visits for those looking for care. These visits will be subject to a negative Lateral Flow test and will carefully managed to maintain the safety of our residents and staff. Please contact the home for further information.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our Residents and Staff are always our top priorities. We have in place robust and comprehensive contingency plans to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Our plans will be kept under regular review and updated as advised by the Public health authorities.
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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Disorientation Of Time And Place
“You might be out somewhere and suddenly forget where you are. Or you might be in a shopping centre and not know what direction to go in,” Dr Farrow says.
“Usually if someone just stops for a moment, they can work out ‘oh yes, that’s where I came in, I’ve got to go this way’ but someone with early dementia will be less likely to be able to work it out.”
What Can You Do About It
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 seniors over the age of 65 has dementia. Though the disease affects each patient differently, most people with Alzheimer’s live only 4 to 8 years after diagnosis.
While you cannot reverse dementia or the damage it causes, there are ways to improve quality of life. Here are some simple tips for management that you can discuss with your doctor:
- Take prescription medications to counteract cognitive and behavioral symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
- Find support in the form of therapy, support groups, friends, or family to help develop coping mechanisms for cognitive and behavioral changes.
- Address safety issues in the home by installing safety bars in the bathroom and shower, automatic shut-off switches on appliances, and reminders to lock the door.
- Stay on top of co-existing conditions, working with your doctor to manage medical problems with the proper form of treatment.
- Follow a healthy diet that supports brain health and function. Focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, natural sources of omega fatty acids, and foods high in fiber and protein.
- Talk to your doctor about taking supplements to support memory and cognitive function. Options you might consider include caprylic acid, coenzyme Q10, ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, and omega-3 fatty acids.
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Can Lifestyle Changes Help Frontotemporal Dementia
Medication can be effective for treating dementia, but lifestyle treatments can help, too. Helping people find a comfortable environment can help them cope with the symptoms of dementia.
Environment is important. Maintaining an environment that doesnt upset someone is vital. Make sure your home is well-lit and has minimal noise. People with behavior problems need to be in environments that are familiar. They may also need to avoid large crowds.
People with speech problems may need to be in environments where communication is easier. They may wish to keep tools for communicating, like a pen and paper, with them all the time.
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.
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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.
How To Recognize Early Warning Signs Of Dementia
If you start noticing that your loved is having issues with their memory, and these problems are also accompanied by certain troubles with their:
- or sheer reasoning,
This might mean your loved one has dementia-related issues. We at Adagio House know how difficult dealing with this type of illness can be, so lets go over some of the most common early warning signs of dementia.
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Dementia Statistics In Men
According to a recent study, the Alzheimers Association estimates that more than 6 million people in America are living with some type of dementia. This number is only expected to rise as lifespans increase and the Boomer generation continues to age. Older women seem to show signs of dementia at a higher rate than men, but men are not immune to this progressive cognitive disease. How does dementia affect the male population specifically?
The Alzheimers Association notes that for adults over the age of 71, 16% of women have dementia while 11% of men have some type of this disease. Scientists are unclear about the reasoning for this discrepancy, but some credible theories include women living longer or genes reacting differently with exposure to more estrogen. In any case, 11% of men in this age range still translates to many men living with dementia.
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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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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There are many different types of dementia, with Alzheimers disease being one of the most common. Early diagnosis means its progression can be slowed down in some cases, so it is important to spot the signs early. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects one in six people over 80.
Dementia Australia says that the early signs of dementia are very subtle and may not be immediately obvious.
It adds that early symptoms also vary across individual patients, but there are a number of early signs.
Alongside memory problems, a key sign is repetitive behaviour. Others also find that they have difficulty performing familiar tasks and social isolation.
It adds that early signs also include confusion about time and place, problems with abstract thinking, loss of initiative, poor or decreased judgement, language problems and other behavioural changes.
The Alzheimers Association states: People living with Alzheimers and other dementia may have problems sleeping or experience increased confusion, anxiety or agitation.
The NHS says that dementia symptoms may also include problems with language, such as using words incorrectly, or trouble speaking, as well as movement and difficulties doing daily activities.
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Confusion About Time And Place
If you are having trouble remembering how you got to a place or why you are there or are regularly forgetting what day of the week it is, you should consult a doctor immediately. That’s because confusion about time and place are classic early signs of dementia, Jason Karlawish, MD, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and co-director of the Penn Memory Center, told AARP.
Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
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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.
Where To Get Help
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
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Difficulty Computing Problems And Organising Daily Life
Are you or someone you love struggling to keep up with tasks? A person with dementia may find it increasingly difficult to follow a plan, such as a recipe when cooking and baking, or directions when driving. Easy tasks and simply problem solving, like calculating bills or shopping, may also become increasingly difficult.
Difficulty Completing Normal Tasks
A subtle shift in the ability to complete normal tasks may indicate that someone has early dementia. This usually starts with difficulty doing more complex tasks like balancing a checkbook or playing games that have a lot of rules.
Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, they may struggle to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.
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