Spotting Early Signs of Dementia
When your grandpa starts forgetting things, it can be just another result of ageing or an early symptom of something much worse – dementia.
Wondering and worrying whether your loved one is going to take a sudden turn for the worst can be incredibly stressful. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common early signs of dementia. This way, you will have more tools available to guide you as you make decisions and work with your loved one to move forward.
A better understanding of what dementia looks like
Early signs of dementia include:
- Short-term memory loss – Not all memory loss is necessarily indicative of dementia. Dementia patients can often remember things that happened twenty years ago, even though they can’t remember what they ate 20 seconds ago. This specific type of memory loss is the most prominent early warning sign.
- Confusion – Another prominent early warning sign, confusion, like the inability to match a face with a name, may cause patients to withdraw from the people around them. This confusion can manifest or in more severe cases ultimately, and obviously, disrupt the patient’s life.
- Difficulty Communicating – From an inability to understand sarcasm to struggle to find the right words, dementia can create barriers in communication that lead your loved one to stop talking and distance themselves from others.
- Difficulty completing simple tasks – As dementia alters the process of the mind, patients dealing with the disease will often forget how to do something as simple as doing the dishes or tying their shoes. Dementia can often manifest as the inability to learn new things, as well.
- Mood swings – This can be both a symptom of the disease and a reaction to other symptoms, like confusion. The inability to remember, or finish tasks that once seemed so simple, combined with the mental issue of dementia, can lead to depression and anxiety.
- Repeating behaviours – People dealing with dementia may end up repeating simple tasks over and over. Behaviours may include multiple grocery trips in a day or tying and retying laces numerous times.
- Falling – An increase in falling often follows the onset of dementia. Patients dealing with dementia can find it hard to keep track of their feet, or their location, leading to tumbles or falling downstairs.
Talking to a parent who has dementia
These symptoms can create situations where the person suffering from the disease feels useless, disconnected and out of control. It is essential when talking to an ageing parent who has dementia to remain respectful and work with them to confront the problem.
If you are spotting any of these signs in your parent or ageing loved ones, Right at Home Winnipeg is here to help. Please do not hesitate to give us a call.