Memory loss or confusion among older adults is common, but when this occurs frequently it could be a telltale sign of dementia.
Early signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for include losing track of time, difficulty following stories on TV or conversations, or forgetting basic tasks like dressing or cooking.
1. Difficulty remembering recent events
If you or someone close to you suddenly experience difficulty remembering recent events, this should not be taken as normal aging; persistent memory loss and confusion could be early indicators of dementia.
Memory problems are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia such as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and dementia with Lewy bodies, among others. They may also indicate heart disease or stroke – symptoms which may manifest themselves even among younger individuals.
Signs of dementia early-on include getting lost in familiar places or forgetting how you got home, confusion at work or difficulty reading or understanding written words can also point to dementia as can difficulty keeping track of money or making decisions such as spending too much or buying unnecessary things – all surefire telltale indicators that dementia has set in.
As well as memory issues, people living with dementia often have trouble following conversations or remembering names of friends and family members. They may repeat daily tasks such as bathing and shaving or collecting items obsessively. Over time they may become less interested in socializing and have changed personalities; speech may become slurred or muffled while swallowing is impaired leading to increased risk of choking as well as pneumonia infection.
It’s essential that if you or anyone in your circle exhibits symptoms like these, they immediately visit a health care professional for assessment and testing to identify any underlying medical conditions that could cause or aggravate these issues. A health care provider will conduct physical exams as well as look for any hidden issues which might worsen these symptoms, which they could test for as part of an introductory physical exam.
Even if it isn’t dementia, health care professionals can still offer invaluable assistance by suggesting strategies to keep the brain healthy and improve quality of life. This may involve staying active, eating healthily, and avoiding medications known to contribute to dementia – such as sleeping pills containing diphenhydramine or oxybutynin (Benadryl) as well as diuretics used to treat urinary tract infections – because taking such drugs may result in the accumulation of fat deposits within the brain, blocking nerve signals and leading to cognitive changes.
2. Losing track of time
Sometimes as we age, people may become forgetful; however, when this becomes a regular occurrence or impacts daily life and makes the individual confused, this could be an early indicator of dementia. Declining short-term memory is one such indicator and may cause people to misplace items like keys or remote controls as well as make poor financial decisions and have personality changes as a result of dementia.
Another symptom of dementia is difficulty understanding what is being said, caused by an inability for the brain to process information correctly. This often manifests when following stories or keeping up with TV shows, playing online slot games through yoakimbridge.com or conversations is difficult for someone with dementia; leading to miscommunication that leaves those around them frustrated as well as making the individual themselves feel isolated.
Frontotemporal dementia occurs when small lesions or gaps develop in areas of the brain responsible for behavior, thinking, judgment and language control. It may result in changes to mood and personality such as becoming more irritable or disinhibited; and may lead to loss of self-control as individuals act out in ways they normally wouldn’t or put themselves into potentially hazardous situations.
Diagnosing dementia early can help identify its source, provide treatment immediately and improve quality of life. A diagnosis also serves as a powerful way of planning ahead and creating a care plan tailored specifically for them – something friends or family should do if they observe any unusual behavior or changes in mental abilities; the sooner someone gets diagnosed the greater their chances are of receiving treatments or clinical trials that could eventually find a cure; even for those who cannot be treated, having this knowledge allows them to plan for the future and live as independently as possible while there still can.
3. Not being able to remember names of people or objects
Everybody forgets things from time to time, but if forgetfulness becomes a regular feature in your or someone else’s lives, it could be an indication of dementia advancing. This is especially likely if they are struggling to remember familiar people or places, or need directions home after visiting somewhere they have been before (including their own house!). They could also become easily disoriented in familiar environments.
An early sign of dementia is difficulty remembering names of familiar faces, even those close to you. If this becomes a pattern for yourself or a loved one, as well as difficulties performing familiar tasks like cooking, driving or using mobile phones – such as cooking or driving for example – then seeking medical advice immediately is vital to help determine whether dementia exists, or whether other conditions such as vascular dementia or infections like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) might be at play.
Changes in mood may be one of the earliest indicators of dementia. Depression and anxiety are typical, but you might also detect fearfulness or agitation more than usual, or disinhibited and impulsive behavior. They might become withdrawn and less involved with their regular activities, or spend less and less time caring about their appearance.
People living with dementia can have difficulty making decisions or judging distance, leading them to stumble over objects in the house and lose track of dates, have trouble balancing a checkbook or make poor financial decisions that result in either lack of money, debts and bankruptcies.
Changes to mood and personality can also be signs of dementia. People living with dementia can become irritable, depressed or disinhibited; empathy for others may wane; in severe cases this stage can even cause people to become paranoid and suspicious of friends and family members as they believe someone has stolen from them.
4. Not being able to find things
An individual with dementia may find difficulty locating familiar places such as their home, workplace or neighborhood – an indicator that their disease has reached a more advanced stage. If this happens frequently it could indicate progressed further than expected.
People living with dementia can become easily upset for seemingly no apparent reason, making comforting and reassuring them essential to keeping them from harming themselves or others. Furthermore, they might withdraw and become disinterested in hobbies or people altogether. It is common for them to experience problems with motor skills such as dressing, eating and bathing which require assistance.
Some individuals may start hiding items around the home like keys, wallets and jewelry from family members in an attempt to protect themselves. It can be terrifying for both the individual and caregivers; therefore it’s essential that everyone involved understands each person’s point of view when facing accusations from them. It is crucial that we try not to argue over such claims with them as this can only add further confusion and fear into an already terrifying situation.
If your loved one begins hiding items, try placing them in easily visible locations of the home. If they keep misplacing commonly used items, investing in a locator device might help them remember where their belongings are. You could also encourage your loved one to adopt a daily routine to remind themselves where everything is.
If your loved one’s symptoms seem to worsen, see a physician immediately. A doctor can assess if dementia or another medical condition are responsible, as well as check if certain medicines – like sleeping tablets and medications for urinary urgency like Oxybutynin (Ditropan XL) – could be aggravating their situation. Furthermore, doctors can recommend additional treatments or provide necessary prescriptions as necessary.