Signs of Dementia

April 07, 2021 by Judith Allen Shone

WE LIVE SO FAST

senior woman

In our lives of fast and furious, getting from A to B as quickly as possible to have our home, our family, our job, our car, our early retirement, our dreams, we likely overlook the details of each important event. Many of us have forgotten to “stop and smell the roses.”

As we move among our family and friends, we become familiar with their personalities, their behaviours, their conversation mannerisms. And when we eventually take their personalities, behaviours and thoughts for granted, we often don’t look, or watch or listen carefully any more.

By ‘being aware’ in a life that can overwhelm us, we have an opportunity to become more alert while observing the people we live with and love.

BECOME FAMILIAR WITH SYMPTOMS

declining elderly man

With dementia diseases appearing more frequently in the lives of families around the world, it makes sense to learn possible signs or symptoms so we might recognize this unfriendly affliction.

We don’t notice when brain cells begin to deteriorate. But when the changes become more obvious, knowledge of what behaviours might be ‘red flag’ symptoms of dementia, will equip us to know when to investigate further.

elderly woman

Early Symptoms of dementia, sometimes mistaken for phases of the aging process, can develop slowly over time. If you notice these signs, have a doctor assess your suspicions. Medical professionals can clarify the type dementia that might be developing.

  1. Memory problems, especially recent events
  2. Confusion
  3. Reduced concentration
  4. Personality or behaviour changes
  5. Withdrawal or apathy of depression
  6. Loss of ability to do everyday tasks

DISCOVER KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES

There are many sites online that tell of signs of dementia, yet it makes sense for this site to share some of the signs that many others agree are worth ‘taking a second look’ at for investigation.

If you sense any of these behaviours are ‘out of character’ for your loved one, check with your personal health care provider or the Alzheimer Society in your area for guidance.

Visit A Test for Alzheimer’s page on this site.

The following, possible signs of dementia, is not an exhaustive list, but shows behaviours that might alert us to the need for further medical assessment.

confused man
  1. Forgetfulness: The most noted sign, when birthdays, names, addresses, places become fuzzy or forgotten.
  2. Recall: Difficulty remembering facts just learned, such as a movie thread, the news, or family information.
  3. Daily tasks: Overlooking daily tasks such as preparing meals, feeding pets, showering, those once familiar routines.
  4. Word finding: Simple words don’t come easily or are mixed up in normal conversation.
  5. Disorientation: Time and place get mixed up, as do meal time and bedtime.
  6. Poor judgement: Decisions are questionable or seem hard to make.
  7. Confusion: Signs of bewilderment and uncertainties.
  8. Abstract thinking: Ideas that are not right there to observe becomes difficult. Challenge with meanings of numbers.
  9. Losing things: Misplacing a wallet, keys, purse, or leaving them in the wrong place as in the freezer, or bathroom or dishwasher.
  10. Mood changes: Mood swings without apparent reason.
  11. Behaviour changes: Erratic behaviours and mood swings.
  12. Lack of interest: Passion for activities has disappeared.
  13. Personality changes: Behaviour that is unlike the normal.
  14. Withdrawning: Retreating from social contact.
  15. Suspicions: Irrational and not trusting a ttitude.
  16. Fearful: similar to confusion, but with paranoia and other changes.
  17. Requires prompting: loss of initiative, loss of cues for tasks
  18. High blood pressure: when normal was standard

Resources to check out if you find there might be need for further assessment.

ALZHEIMER SOCIETY – Canada

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION – US

ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY – UK


Signs of Dementia (c) 2021 Judith Allen Shone

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