How to Spot The Early Signs of Dementia
04/03/2023 | News | Reading Time 4 Minutes
Dementia is a progressive and chronic condition that affects cognitive function. This includes things like memory, language, perception, and reasoning. While there is no cure for dementia, the effects can be mitigated if it is detected early enough. Early detection is essential to ensure timely treatment and care. It can also improve the quality of life for those affected by the condition and their loved ones. In this article, we will discuss some of the early warning signs of dementia.
This is one of the most common signs of dementia. It can include forgetting recent events, appointments, and conversations, as well as difficulty remembering names, faces, and important dates. Forgetting things occasionally is normal, but if it becomes frequent and impacts daily life activities, it could indicate the early stages of dementia.
Struggling to communicate is another warning sign of early dementia. Oftentimes people will have difficulty finding the right words or they may repeat words or phrases. They might also have trouble following conversations, reading and writing, or understanding complex information.
Poor Judgement and Decision Making
We all make poor choices from time to time, but if those choices seem unusual or out-of-character, it might be due to dementia. Some examples would be making poor financial decisions, neglecting personal hygiene, or engaging in risky behaviors.
Changes in Mood and Personality
Another early indicator of dementia is changes in mood and personality. This can include becoming irritable, anxious, or depressed. People with dementia might also become more withdrawn or socially isolated. While bad moods are part of everyday life, a pattern of unusual changes in a person’s emotional state might be caused by dementia.
Difficulty with Everyday Tasks
Struggling to accomplish simple, everyday tasks can be another sign of early dementia. This can include difficulty performing routine tasks like cooking, cleaning, and shopping, as well as difficulty with driving and using technology. It is important to note that experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that someone has dementia. Some of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, medications, or lifestyle factors. However, if you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, here are some steps you can take:
Talk to a Healthcare Professional
If you are experiencing any of the early signs of dementia, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional. A doctor can perform a physical exam, review medical history and medications, and conduct tests to determine the cause of the symptoms. Talking to a healthcare professional early is a crucial step to potentially reducing the impacts of dementia.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal can be a helpful way to track symptoms over time. Write down any changes in memory, communication, mood, personality, and behavior, as well as any other symptoms you or your loved one may be experiencing.
Stay Active and Engaged
Being active and engaged is an easy way to improve cognitive function and delay the onset of dementia. Activities like reading, writing, and solving puzzles stimulate the brain and keep you engaged. It’s also important to stay socially active and connected with family and friends, and to participate in hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Get Enough Sleep and Exercise
While important for overall health and wellbeing, getting enough sleep and exercise can also help improve cognitive function. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and find a physical activity like walking or swimming that you can do regularly.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Diet becomes more and more important as we age. Having a good diet not only keeps you healthy, but can also reduce the risks of dementia. In general, you should try to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Stress can have a negative impact on cognitive function and overall health. Practicing stress-management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve cognitive function. Early detection of dementia is essential to ensure timely treatment and care. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the early signs of dementia, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and receive the appropriate treatment. Catching dementia in its early stages can drastically improve your well being and the wellbeing of your loved ones.
Developing dementia or memory loss can be frightening and confusing for both the person experiencing it and their loved ones. At Aldersly, we have years of experience helping families and their loved ones with memory loss enhance their life experience and their overall wellness. Our innovative Rosenborg Memory Care is one of the most technologically advanced memory care residences in North America and is specifically designed to cater to the needs of individuals with dementia or memory loss. Watch our video to learn more about the Rosenborg Memory Care residence or call us at (415) 432-7047 to schedule a visit.