Like all problems related to either mental or physical health, the sooner you recognize the symptoms, the better you can react. Naturally, this is easier said than done, since many illnesses have symptoms that overlap with other issues, which makes it more difficult for them to be diagnosed quickly and, more importantly, correctly.
Dementia is one of those problems, especially because it is actually a collection of symptoms that may occur as consequences of a range of different diseases. However, we can say that dementia symptoms are related to impairments in thought, communication and memory. Dementia is diagnosed once a person has at least two types of impairment that significantly interfere with someone’s everyday life. So, let’s take a look at the most typical symptoms of dementia.
Short-term memory problems
Probably the most prominent symptom is related to changes in short-term memory. They can be subtle, but if you notice that someone remembers events from distant past well, but can’t remember what they had for breakfast that morning, it may well be the case of dementia in its early stages. Similarly, those who have problems remembering where they left a particular item, such as car or house keys, they might be showing early signs of dementia. Finally, short-term memory problems may lead to a person entering a room and forgetting what the reason for that was.
Troubles expressing themselves
A person suffering from dementia will occasionally have problems communicating their thoughts because they are unable to find the right words, which makes communication with them quite difficult and lengthy. This is especially noticeable if they can’t remember some more common words they never had troubles with before.
Most of us have experienced mood swings at some point, but that doesn’t mean we are suffering from dementia. However, if you notice that a person is feeling more depressed than usual or that such spells last longer, it could be the case that they are suffering from dementia. Such changes affect a person’s character too, and you may notice someone who used to be rather shy become quite outgoing. That’s why people working at dementia home care facilities pay special attention to this symptom and try to alleviate it by allowing people to socialize and be surrounded with people who clearly show they care about them.
Routines become difficult
Even a minor change in the ability to perform normal tasks could indicate that a person is suffering from early dementia. This is particularly prominent when it comes to routines such as balancing a check book or taking part in games that have many rules. Similarly, persons who experience that also display inability to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.
Problems following storylines
Another classic early dementia symptom is the difficulty to follow storylines. Just like people suffering from dementia have problems expressing themselves, they might also forget the meaning of words or struggle to follow longer conversations or plots of a film or series.
Failing sense of direction
Spatial orientation is another difficulty for people suffering from early dementia. They could have problems recognizing landmarks or remembering directions to get to a familiar place. Also, they are unable to follow a series of directions and step-by-step instructions. If you notice that something like that is happening to a person, it might be a symptom of dementia.
People suffering from dementia experience memory loss and, consequently, become repetitive. This is manifested not only in speech, but also in their sudden obsession with collecting items. Also, they tend to forget that they have already performed a task and could repeat it, without realizing it wasn’t necessary.
Dealing with dementia is very difficult. Mostly because it’s very rare that the person affected recognizes the symptoms, but also because of the fact that the symptoms are not unique to dementia. However, being able to recognize the onset of this disorder is vital in finding the right and timely treatment, which should help both the person and everyone around them cope with it better.
This guest post was graciously provided by Diana Smith. Diana is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in alternative medicine and latest DIY projects. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.