Even though it can happen to anyone for no apparent reason, it’s essential to understand that dementia is not a regular part of the aging process. Generally, people over 65 are most likely to suffer from some form of dementia, but that doesn’t mean that every 65+-year-old has to. Dementia can even affect younger, 40+ people, which is precisely why it’s so important to know how to recognize early dementia signs, both for yourself and your loved ones.
1. Short-term memory loss
Short-term memory loss is the most usual symptom of early dementia. In general, dementia won’t affect long-term memory early on. Basically, it shouldn’t be surprising that people can’t remember what they had for breakfast that day but they can clearly recall what they did on a certain day that happened years in the past.
2. Poor thought communication
If a person finds it very difficult to communicate their thoughts and struggles to find the right words to express themselves, they may be experiencing the early symptoms of dementia.
3. Frequent mood shifts
This particular symptom may not be as obvious to people who are actually suffering from dementia as it probably would be to other people around them. Essentially, frequent mood swings, which can even get to the extreme of incredibly happy one minute to the terribly sad after half an hour, are awfully common for people suffering from early stages of dementia. Not only that, but this particular symptom can get progressively worse, leading to a complete change in personality as well.
4. Apathetic behavior
When dementia starts affecting the brain, it’s not uncommon for people to distance themselves from everything that they previously found enjoyable. This includes social activities as well as pastimes and hobbies. Therefore, observing that someone seems to be too listless and emotionless in their behavior should be a definite reason for concern.
5. Regular tasks turn difficult
This particular symptom of dementia may not be as obvious at first. Basically, people may have some trouble with more challenging tasks such as taking care of their finances and generally more difficult math games. However, if this kind of trouble becomes more prominent and you notice that your loved one starts experiencing trouble with even simpler daily tasks such as understanding how to use a simple appliance, you should definitely react as soon as possible.
6. Sense of direction worsens
This particular dementia sign can be very dangerous, as it can cause panic attacks and even lead to people affected by it hurting themselves. Basically, with a deteriorating sense of direction, people can get lost easily, which can be terrifying if they suffer from some other symptoms on this list as well. This is precisely why professional dementia care can turn out to be the ideal solution for those who simply cannot control their movement, actions and sense of direction.
7. Confusion sets in
One very unfortunate early sign of dementia that can turn progressively worse is the state of confusion that people suffering from this condition experience. At first, they may feel confused about little things such as the location of their things around the house, but they can soon become confused about their own whereabouts and even fail to recognize the faces of their family and friends.
8. Not following the storylines
When early signs of dementia start to show, there will probably be more word-related issues aside from having trouble finding words to express oneself. It can go the other way around as well, with affected people having trouble understanding what someone is telling them.
Just because someone exhibits repetitive behavior doesn’t have to mean that they suffer from dementia. But, this can be an early sign of this condition, especially if the person starts repeating the same stories over and over again suspiciously frequently; not to mention repeating the same activities such as going shopping for milk several times during the day.
10. Fear of change
Fear of change is a common fear that many people have, but when it comes to people suffering from dementia, this problem will be more prominent and they will voice their dissatisfaction more openly. This is especially evident when the time for them facing the possibility of illness comes.
Obviously, the mentioned symptoms don’t have to necessarily point to dementia. But, in case someone shows more signs from this list at the same time, it’s recommended to seek professional help as soon as possible.