5 Early Signs to Help you Spot Dementia
We have all, at some point, forgotten somebody’s name or perhaps had lapses in memory when it comes to things like locking doors or misplacing items. For most of us it can just be a part of life, something we do as we get older or as our minds wander as part of our daily routine.
If this begins to be a regular occurrence it can become worrying, and it may signal something more serious. While memory loss in itself is not necessarily a sign of dementia, it can be part of a collection of symptoms that could indicate whether you or a loved one may be in the early stages of the condition.
As do many elderly care homes, the teams at Abbeyfield’s assisted living residences have extensive experience in caring for residents living with Alzheimers, dementia and other forms of memory loss and would like to share five early signs to look out for if you are concerned about yourself or your loved one.
Memory loss is not a sure fire sign of dementia but if you or your loved one finds themselves confused by everyday occurrences such as using household appliances or forgetting why or how they came into a room, then it may be helpful to visit your GP.
It is possible that, on its own, this may be a sign of stress and easily treatable, however it is important to gain a professional diagnosis
Dementia can affect a person’s cognitive abilities and this difficulty in processing thoughts can manifest by affecting their ability to communicate.
Your loved one may seem to have trouble expressing themselves verbally or take time to respond to you during a conversation. This can lead to feelings of frustration and anger causing distress for all involved.
It may be difficult to recognise a change of mood in yourself but it may be easier for you to notice if your loved one is suffering from mood swings or becoming agitated.
They may undergo a change of personality, a previously outgoing friend or relative could suddenly become shy or introverted. Dementia can also cause depression as in some cases, the sufferer is aware of the changes but feels unable to prevent them.
If your loved ones’ short-term memory is affected they may be unable to recollect if they have asked or told you something. You may also find that they repeat actions such as tidying areas of their home or folding clothes.
These actions can be a form of stress management due to their habitual nature. It is important to be patient with your loved one should they begin to repeat themselves, offering encouragement and supporting them to manage their situation.
Making inappropriate decisions can be an early sign of dementia, If your loved one seems to have the inability to assess the risks of a decision, be it financial or with regards to their personal safety, then it can be extremely worrying.
If you observe a pattern forming such as they are buying things they do not need or not taking care of their personal hygiene. It may be time for you to intervene.
The key thing to remember if you spot any of these signs is that you should not panic. It is important to seek professional, medical advice from your GP who may recommend tests be carried out to discover the cause of these changes.
It is likely to be a shock should you discover that you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. At times this can be followed by relief that you can now seek the support and treatment that you need to cope with the diagnosis.
If you are sick of searching for ‘residential care homes near me’ to offer support for you and your loved one, then simply enquire on our contact page and arrange to see Abbeyfield Darlington’s quality assisted living locations.