How to Spot the Signs of Dementia in a Loved One

As your loved ones get older, they are more likely to suffer from degenerative conditions such as dementia. An early diagnosis and support from those around them can play a huge part in getting them the help they need at the right time. Here are some of the things you should look out for so that you can spot the signs of dementia in your loved ones when the time comes. 

Memory Loss

People with dementia suffer from memory loss as the condition affects the brain, especially the part connected with memory. This is quite an easy symptom to spot as your loved one will become more forgetful. They could find it more difficult to recall names and faces and misplace household items easily. Dementia affects short-term memory more than long-term memory so while they may be able to recall incidents from decades ago, they may not remember things they have done more recently. This can be dangerous as it could lead to your loved one leaving the oven on or having an accident while driving. This is a sign that it might be time to consider their long-term care needs such as moving to a dementia village or looking into home help.

Organization

Your loved one may have been an incredibly organized person in the past but dementia will also affect their cognitive behavior. This means that they could find it more difficult to complete complex tasks such as organizing their finances, remembering appointments, or planning a day out. Disorganization can be a sign that your loved one is struggling to cope with cognitive tasks. 

Personal Care

The onset of dementia can cause personal changes in a sufferer. For example, they may forget to eat or bathe. Changes in their personal hygiene or weight can indicate that your loved one could be suffering from dementia. Ask subtle questions to establish whether there have been any changes in their life or routine that could be influencing them. 

Environment

You can spot whether your loved one may be suffering from the early stages of dementia by checking their environment. For example, they may have been incredibly neat and tidy in the past, so if their home is looking a little neglected, it could be that they are forgetting to do chores. This could be caused by other aging issues so if in doubt, seek medical advice for them. 

Personality Changes

Dementia can be an incredibly frustrating experience for the sufferer, and this could cause changes in their personality. For example, they might become depressed or short-tempered or suffer from anxiety as they start to realize that everyday tasks are no longer as easy as they used to be. They may realize that they are no longer as independent as they like to think, and this can be scary for them which can cause personality changes. 

If you have spotted any of these signs it is best to seek medical advice. Their doctor will be able to answer any questions and suggest medication or changes that could be made to give your loved one the best quality of life.

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