Early symptoms of dementia are not always clear. You may find it hard to distinguish them from normal memory loss caused by an old age. Here are some warning signs you should look out for:
Declining short-term memory is one of the most common signs of dementia. People who have ordinary forgetfulness are still able to remember facts that are associated with things they have forgotten. For instance, a person may forget their neighbor's name, but can tell that the person is their neighbor. A person suffering from dementia will forget the name and context.
Everyone has, at one point or the other, found it difficult to find the correct word. A person having dementia will substitute unusual words making it hard for others to understand whether in writing or speech. People with dementia also forget simple words.
People with dementia may look different from their normal selves and pinpointing the difference is hard. Those people may become agitated and anxious, apathetic, depressed, irritable and suspicious in times when their memory is a problem.
Another one of the early signs of dementia is that a person with dementia finds it difficult to the tasks they previously did without even thinking about it. A person who has dementia may find it hard to put clothes in their respective order or forget the steps for preparing a specific meal.
While people sometimes forget some things, a person who has dementia can get lost in a familiar environment like their neighborhood. They will forget how they arrived to that location and are unable to tell where they are or how they can get back to their homes. A person who has dementia can even confuse day and night.
Anyone can become moody or sad occasionally. A person having dementia has rapid mood swings and is unusually emotional for no reason. Alternatively, a person who has dementia may also show less emotion than they previously did. People who have dementia also sometimes repeat stories and can do so word for word. They may ask the same questions regardless of the many times you have answered. A person who has dementia also misplaces things and puts them in unusual places like a wristwatch in a sugar bowl or iron in the refrigerator.
Speaking of early signs of dementia, people with dementia may find it hard to find the correct words and at times also forget the meaning of some words they hear. Another warning sign for dementia is struggling to follow TV programs or conversations.
It is important to note that a person who has these symptoms does not necessarily have dementia. Long-term consumption of alcohol, brain tumors, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal disorders, infections, depression and strokes can also cause the symptoms mentioned above. Most of these conditions are treatable.
Consult a doctor if you notice dementia symptoms like memory problems. There are some treatable conditions that can cause symptoms linked to dementia. This is why it is important that you see a doctor to establish the underlying condition.
Dementia and Alzheimer's disease worsen with time. As such, early detection is important as it gives you time to plan for the future of the patient while he/she is still able to make decisions.
There are several causes of dementia:
Many types of dementia are curable. However, doctors are going to help you find ways of managing the early signs of dementia. Dementia treatment can help minimize or slow the symptoms from developing. Medications like Memantine (Namenda), Cholinesterase may be used in the treatment of dementia.
There are several dementia behavior problems and symptoms that can be initially treated using therapies like:
People who have dementia over time experience progression of their behavior problems and symptoms. Here are some suggestions that caregivers should adapt to individual situations: