It can be challenging caring for an aging parent and still managing to live your own life. You want the best care for them, and besides having assisted living, you’re inclined to oversee their care delivery personally. The aged in society are vulnerable to illnesses, including dementia, that you need to be wary of.
About 7% of adults aged 60 and above in the US have dementia, indicating its prevalence. Dementia occurs as symptoms caused by various diseases impairing thought, communication, and memory. You’ll thus need to be on the lookout for warning signs of dementia.
Memory problems among the aged can be expected, so don’t immediately conclude it is dementia. You’ll need to have them checked out if that’s the case to reduce alarm. A person will require at least two impairment types interfering with their daily lives for a dementia diagnosis.
The key to managing dementia is to catch it early. Understanding how the situation happens assists you in identifying the condition early enough. Below is a complete guide on the different warning signs for dementia.
1. Short Term Memory Changes
Memory problems can indicate early-onset dementia. The changes, however, occur subtly and involve short-term memory.
Don’t be confused when your loved one can tell what happened in the past but can’t recall what they had for lunch. It might be an indicator for developing dementia.
Short-term memory changes are a huge warning sign for dementia in aged persons. You’ll need to start seeking dementia treatment options.
2. Challenges Finding the Right Words
Is your loved one having trouble expressing themselves? Dementia impairs the communication aspect for the patients. They thus have a hard time articulating their thoughts.
As among the early symptoms of dementia, the problem might occur intermittently. The frequency between patients’ difficulty expressing themselves and normalcy has to be monitored to identify patterns. If they’re regular, consider seeking dementia treatment early.
You could identify the problem within holding a conversation, with their point taking longer to come across.
3. Loss of Interest in Hobbies
You might have noticed a steep decline in enthusiasm from your loved one. This could be the apathy symptom that occurs in early dementia patients.
The loss of interest in hobbies or fun activities is part of the symptoms they show with the illness. There is a need for the patients to avoid social activity and sometimes appear emotionally flat. Be on the lookout for these to promptly get them the assistance they need.
4. Mood Changes
Does your assisted living care provider notice changes in mood with your aging parent? You might have noticed them as well, which is an early symptom of dementia.
Sometimes the mood changes are affiliated with depression which is also common in early dementia. It can be challenging for them to notice independently, which is typically the same for everyone.
You might also find mood changes are coupled with personality changes. Do not panic. You should consider getting specialized dementia care for your loved one.
5. Difficulty Handling Familiar Tasks
Tasks completed over time, such as operating the coffee machine, tend to become standard due to their familiarity. Early-onset dementia patients tend to experience difficulties in completing tasks they handled efficiently in the past.
The progression for dementia starts with challenges experienced in more complex tasks. With time, the problem develops to incorporate the less challenging tasks.
Along with the struggle for such activities, dementia patients might also have problems following new routines. You’ll need to consider professional help to slow down the dementia progression.
Dementia patients experience confusion which starts within the early stages of the illness. The impairment of memory affects their ability to remember things.
The extent of the confusion problem extends to not remembering why they went into a room or even misplacing things often.
You might be frustrated when your loved one doesn’t remember faces for your family. Please don’t be disappointed in them. Dementia creates difficulties in retaining, which might explain their situation.
7. Being Repetitive
Caring for the elderly can be psychologically draining and might need you to be patient with them. It mainly happens when your loved one repeats the same story or questions over and over again. Such occurrences indicate dementia resulting from memory loss.
The effect extends to the repetition of activities such as shaving twice a day or even item collection. These repetitive activities might be obsessions for them that need to be carefully handled.
8. Struggling to Adapt to Change
Change is crucial at times to accommodate the current times. For dementia patients, however, this change instigates fear. It actually extenuates their problem further since they cannot recall or follow through with things without secondary help.
Dementia patients, therefore, will stick to routines and feel afraid to try out new experiences. Their adaptation mechanism is non-functional, which is a symptom observable in early dementia patients.
9. Trouble Comprehending Visual Imagery
In as much as dementia affects communication, the receptiveness aspect might also further the problem. We can trace the effect to memory and vision impairment which affect their interpretation of things.
You’ll notice this problem majorly when they can’t identify colors or even judge distances. Dementia patients also have trouble reading and associating images with specific things.
The problem in comprehension of visual imagery is not typical for older adults. It is a warning sign for early dementia, for which you need to seek the appropriate care.
Observe the Above Warning Signs of Dementia
The symptoms of dementia and other customary conditions are almost similar for aging persons. The interpretation is that memory problems don’t automatically mean that they have dementia. You’ll need to get the disparity, and above are the warning signs of dementia.
Observing your aging parent for these symptoms will assist them in getting the necessary dementia care early.
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