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Early Signs of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Having a professional support system in place is imperative in managing the disease. Dementia is a general term for an array of symptoms produced by various brain disorders. Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent strain of dementia. One of the biggest fears for seniors and their families is the onset of Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Catching dementia in its early stages is critical to getting the most out of available treatments.

Early Warning Signs

  • Memory loss
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgement
  • Apathy
  • Mood and Personality
  • Repetition

Memory Loss

The most common and recognizable effect of dementia is its impact on short-term memory. An example of this is being able to remember an event that happened 5 years ago, but not being able to remember what they had for lunch half an hour ago.

This can be very frustrating, as dementia sufferers may all of a sudden realize they don’t know what they are doing or why.

Decreased Cognitive Function

A decline in cognitive function is also characteristic of dementia. This includes problems with planning, analyzing, and problem solving. Dementia patients may have great difficulty making simple decisions.

A decrease in cognitive function may also encompass problems with reading, writing and speaking. Holding a conversation or basic reading comprehension may become challenging.

Spatial recognition can also be a problem, making driving a dangerous activity.

Confusion

Confusion can come in the form of failure to remember names and faces. Dementia sufferers also become lost easily, not remembering where they are going or how they got where they are.

Poor Judgement

Dementia can affect the decision-making process, which can result in all kinds of unfortunate situations. For example, telemarketing scams tend to target the elderly because they are easy prey. Seniors suffering from dementia are more likely to part with large sums of money without even realizing the consequences.

Apathy

Another common side effect of dementia is apathy. This refers to a lack of interest in life in general. Dementia sufferers may lose interest in hobbies, social activities and other aspects of life they use to take great pleasure in.

Mood and Personality Changes

Dementia can cause changes in mood and even major shifts in personality. For example, a person that is normally reserved and cautious may become more aggressive or irritable due to the disease’s affect on judgement. Depression is also a common trait for dementia patients.

Repetition

If you have had a conversation with someone with dementia you may have found they asked the same question over an over again. This is an effect of memory loss. The same can be true of tasks or activities.

How Can Home Care Help with Dementia?

Although dementia is usually irreversible and incurable, the disease can at least be maintained, minimizing damage to dementia sufferers and their families.

For a dementia patient, being allowed to remain at home can be hugely beneficial. Especially if the person still holds fond memories of that place, from before the onset of the disease.

Home care services can benefit a patient with dementia by:

  • Engaging them in social activity
  • Activities that spark mental stimulation
  • Physical therapy to keep the body active
  • Assistance with nutrition and meal prep
  • Family support

A person diagnosed with dementia can still live a number of enjoyable years, depending on how early it is detected.

Having a professional support system in place is imperative in managing the disease. Dementia is a general term for an array of symptoms produced by various brain disorders. Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent strain of dementia. One of the biggest fears for seniors and their families is the onset of Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Catching dementia in its early stages is critical to getting the most out of available treatments. The most common and recognizable effect of dementia is its impact on short-term memory.