There are a number of early warning signs of dementia that should be kept an eye on.
The number of people suffering with dementia is growing and more than one million people in the UK are expected to be living with dementia by 2025, according to Dementia UK.
According to the NHS, symptoms of dementia are often mild to begin with, becoming gradually worse over time.
There are a 10 ‘typical’ signs of dementia with at least two of these symptoms – severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life – needed to diagnose the condition.
Despite forgetfulness being common – especially as we get old – dementia is not a natural part of the aging process and if any symptoms of the condition are noticed, medical advice should be sought.
Here are ten common symptoms of the condition that should be kept note of…
These 10 early signs of dementia are as follows
Someone who is beginning to develop dementia may start having trouble remembering dates of events.
Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia with many people finding it difficult to remember information they have recently learned during the early stages of the condition.
It is common for people to forget things as they get older. However, remembering that special date or conversation usually comes back later if memory loss is simple related to age.
Those with dementia may not regain that memory again.
- 2. Difficulty planning or problem solving
A person with dementia may begin to find it difficult following a plan.
This could be following a recipe when cooking or even directions when driving.
Problem solving is also likely to become a bit more tricky with sufferers beginning to struggle with things like adding up numbers to pay bills as well as other tasks that once seemed pretty straight forward.
- 3. Difficulty performing familiar tasks
Performing daily tasks becomes more difficult for someone with dementia.
This could be changing the channel to the TV or making dinner- even if these tasks are taking place in familial surroundings such as a family home or within a workplace routine.
- 4. Confusion about time or place
Appreciating the passage of time can become trying for someone suffering with dementia.
Someone with dementia may forget where they are, what time it is, or even what has been going on around them at times.
Understanding events that have happened in the past or looking forward to things occurring in the future might become confusing as many people with dementia have trouble with dates.
- 5. Difficulties understanding visual information
Reading, judging distances and even understanding color differences are things that become difficult for those suffering with dementia.
These visual challenges can make daily routines difficult – such as driving to work or reading the newspaper.
- 6. Problems speaking or writing
As time passes, the handwriting of someone with dementia is likely to become less legible.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar may also deteriorate.
People with dementia may also find it difficult to participate in conversation as they are unable to keep up with what has been said by people as well as forgetting what they have previously said.
Forgetting where items such as the remote, keys and wallets have been placed is a common sign of someone suffering with dementia.
As well as everyday items, a person with dementia may also fail to remember where important documents and things like passports have been put away.
Misplacing items can be frustrating and can lead the person to accuse others of theft in some cases.
- 8. Poor judgment or decision making
Reasonability sometimes becomes difficult for a person who has dementia.
Whether it be making impulse decisions that are out of character or failing to understand what is ‘fair’, poor judgment can really impact the lives of people with dementia as well as the people around them.
Some people with dementia also begin to pay less attention to cleanliness and their appearance.
- 9. Withdraw from social activities
Sometimes a person with dementia begins to withdraw themselves from their social lives.
Whether this be at work or at home, people with dementia may avoid talking to others or lose focus when others are talking to them.
This may be due to confusion and difficulty keeping up with conversation – as explained above.
They may stop practicing hobbies or sports that involve other people, too.
- 10. Personality or mood changes
Mood swings are a common symptom of dementia.
Personality changes, such as becoming more irritable, depressed or anxious are often directly related to the condition.
A person with dementia may also become more disinhibited or act inappropriately.
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