10 Signs Of Dementia
The warning signs of dementia vary, so how do you know if your loved one is showing age-related changes or if they’re showing signs of dementia? Some Dementia signs are memory loss, behavior changes, and increased confusion.
In 2020, about 5.8 million people were living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia, there are other causes and types of dementia. These include fronto-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia. In some instances, someone may see changes in behavior, cognition, and brain structure/function, which can be characteristics of multiple types of dementia.
Everyone experiences dementia symptoms differently with varying types of severity, but there are a few early warning signs you can look out for. If you keep an eye out for these signs of dementia, you can determine if your loved one should seek a medical or cognitive check-up.
10 Symptoms And Warning Signs Of Dementia
1. Forgetting Things and Short-Term Memory Problems
The most common sign of dementia is memory loss. Although, just because your loved one doesn’t recall where they left their belongings or call family members by the wrong names doesn’t mean they have Alzheimer’s. Everyone can forget the details of conversations on occasion, but in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, people will forget entire conversations that took place a few minutes ago. Alzheimer’s typically affects short-term memory initially, so someone may forget information that they just learned. Those affected by Alzheimer’s may also forget or have trouble remembering important events and dates and may ask for the same information multiple times. They may also rely on reminders from family members to keep up with their daily activities.
2. Losing Things
Another sign of dementia is a patient putting their belongings in odd places. On occasion, everyone has misplaced items, but finding your loved one’s lost keys in the freezer could mean something more serious. Older individuals may lose things and find their items by retracing their steps. However, this situation may escalate if the patient begins accusing people of theft when they cannot find an item they misplaced. They may also be paranoid and place their belongings in even more unusual spots to fool the “thief.”
3. Increased Confusion And Difficulty With Concentration
Confusion about times and places is one of the common signs of dementia. The inability to concentrate may make your loved one’s regular activities take much longer than usual. Those with dementia may forget things like where they are, how they got there, or may get lost trying to go to familiar places. As Alzhimer’s progresses, some have trouble differentiating between events from the past, present, and future. They may also lose track of the time of year and the passage of time which may cause them to show up to appointments, plans, and events at the wrong time or day, or they may not show up at all.
4. Difficulty With Speech And Language
Alzheimer’s can affect how a person processes language. The patient may have trouble recalling words when speaking and writing. Someone older may make up for this forgetfulness by using a generic word for an item, but others may create their own words for items. For example, a dementia patient may call a watch a “wearable clock.” Their confusion and inability to think of the word may cause them to stop talking in the middle of sentences or conversations.
5. Changes In Decision Making Abilities
Any changes in a patient’s ability to make decisions are signs of dementia. They may be unable to use rational thought processes and judgment. If your loved one has made bad or risky decisions their whole life, it isn’t likely that they have a medical condition causing the behaviors. On the other hand, if your loved one has always made logical decisions and always carefully weighs their options, and they suddenly begin showing signs of poor judgment, then dementia may be the culprit. One common example is a patient dressing inappropriately for the weather.
6. Trouble With Everyday Tasks
Difficulty performing familiar everyday tasks is a sign of dementia. Patients typically have a hard time coordinating and remembering how to do everyday things like driving, preparing meals, etc. They may rely more on their spouse or family members to do things for them that they may have enjoyed doing themselves. Dementia may also affect vision. For example, the patient’s depth perception or distance judgment may be off. They may also have difficulty seeing colors. This change may look like increased clumsiness, accidents, falls, or other out-of-character accidents.
7. Problems Doing Easy Math
Patients in the early stages of dementia can have difficulty working with numbers and doing simple math problems. They may struggle with balancing their checkbook, calculating tips, and performing other simple calculations. For many people, math doesn’t come easily, but if someone isn’t able to complete basic math problems, it can be a sign of dementia.
8. Changes In Personal Hygiene
A Dementia patient may show a steady decline in their personal care or hygiene. For example, they may bathe less frequently, wear the same clothes a few days in a row, or not brush their teeth. Likewise, if your loved one has kept their home clean and organized their entire life and they suddenly begin to stop cleaning and allow clutter to pile up, it may be a sign of dementia.
9. Personality Changes and Mood Swings
Patients may show changes in their personality and have sudden mood swings. They may experience paranoia, depression, anxiety, and fearfulness. Someone confident may become shy, frustrated, or upset easily when they are in new situations or places out of their comfort zone.
10. Withdrawing From Loved Ones
Lastly, if your loved one no longer participates in social gatherings or activities that a senior may enjoy, this can be a sign of dementia. Those affected by dementia may avoid these social situations in order to not draw attention to their difficulty with communication or memory lapses. A patient who is aware of their inabilities may lose their confidence and remove themselves from activities where they may interact with their friends and loved ones. Depression and anxiety may come from this change and may lead to withdrawal from social activities and situations.
How To Address Early Signs of Dementia
If you notice any of these ten signs of dementia in your loved ones and you believe they may have Alzheimer’s disease, you should make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. Early detection and diagnosis are very important for ruling out any curable conditions that may be similar to signs of dementia. It can also be helpful to come up with care and treatment strategies as well as make future legal or financial plans. Find Dementia Resources
Legal And Financial Planning For Dementia
It is common for dementia patients to require nursing home care as the disease progresses.
Unfortunately, the cost of nursing home care is incredibly expensive.
In Michigan, the average cost of a nursing home is between $8,000-$9,000 per month. Many families worry about spending their entire life savings and losing the family home just to pay for nursing home costs.
Fortunately, you can protect your savings and home from nursing home costs by qualifying for nursing home benefits to pay for care.
To find out how, please read this article…
If you already know that you want nursing home benefits to pay for care, please call our office at (248) 613-0007 to schedule a free initial case evaluation to find out if we can help you qualify.