Dementia is a health condition where the mental abilities are becoming low. The first two signs of dementia are memory loss and difficulties with thinking. This terrible condition affects the lives of the victims and also the lives of their family members.
What is dementia?
Dementia itself is not a disease, it’s actually a general term which describes and categorizes certain mental disorders. Among them are:
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
Dementia is manifested in more than 100 different types, from which Alzheimer`s is the most prevalent type. They all are progressive and damage the brain more and more in time. It’s estimated that about 5 million Americans suffer from some form of dementia.
12 Early Warning Signs of Dementia
1. Short Term Memory Problems
One of the most common early signs of dementia are problems with short term memory. At first, these changes are very subtle and they cause the person to remember events of many years ago, but to forget more recent events. These symptoms include not remembering where the person put something or why they went somewhere.
2. Difficulty with Choosing a Suitable Word
One of the early signs of dementia is when the person has difficulty being able to choose a suitable word. For these people it is difficult to lead a meaningful conversation and it takes much more time than it does for people who don’t have dementia. It frequently happens that the person tries desperately to remember a specific word or choose an appropriate one for the situation.
3. Mood Swings
This is yet another common early sign of dementia. The person who has it often becomes depressed for short period. It’s also possible for the person to have a change of personality, in a way that someone who is ordinarily shy becomes outgoing and gregarious.
Also it’s very common for those who are in the early stage of dementia to become lethargic. Victims of dementia start losing interest in doing anything, even the things they used to love doing. They stop going out and don’t show interest in being with the ones they love.
5. Difficulties with Making Plans or Problem Solving
Difficulties making plans or trying to follow a plan made earlier, is also a symptom of early stages of dementia. Victims of dementia may also face problems when trying to deal with numbers. Or in other words, they experience a notable decline in the ability to focus on anything.
6. Difficulties With Completing Everyday Tasks
For healthy people is very easy to do everyday chores, but when it comes to people who suffer from dementia it’s very difficult to complete simple, day-to-day activities that have been previously done without even thinking about them. In most cases it becomes difficult to drive to a familiar place or remember the rules of a simple game.
7. Difficulty in Understanding Time
Time is relative, and making associations with the future, present, or the past becomes challenging for people with early signs of dementia. Symptoms of dementia often don’t understand why something isn’t happening at the moment and if someone tells them that something will happen the next day it might seem odd to them.
8. Having Difficulty Recognizing Places
When a person is not able to recognize places and even not being able to recognize their own home is frequently an early sign of dementia. Victims of dementia may realize that they are in a certain place out of nowhere, without knowing how they got there.
9. Experiencing Problems with Writing
Same as not being able to find a suitable word, it is also difficult for victims of dementia to choose the right word when it comes to writing, which makes it even more challenging and frustrating.
10. Becoming Repetitive
People who have dementia tend to repeating something they have already said a few times earlier in the conversation. They also very often ask a question they already had asked or answered earlier. Victims of dementia also repeat actions like shaving, combing hair, or brushing teeth.
11. Trying to Avoid Change
Many people are simply not fond of changes, but to those who suffer from dementia just the idea of a change can be frightening. This especially applies to their experiences, like getting lost. To avoid this, they will try anything not to make a change.
12. Not Being Able to Follow a Storyline
Dementia sufferers have problems when it comes to focusing and concentration. This means that they are unable to follow a storyline, for example when watching a movie or when someone is telling a story.