What are Early Signs of Dementia?

Dementia is not just a condition but a group of conditions which result in loss of memory. Alzheimer’s disease is one such condition which falls under the umbrella of dementia. However, there are other conditions which may result from a medical issue, injury or other causes.

One of the issues with many of these conditions is that they are progressive and aren’t curable. It doesn’t mean that treatment options aren’t available, and in many cases, an earlier diagnosis may give the person more time with family and friends before the memory loss becomes severe.

In other instances, the condition can be treated and even reversed. For many reasons, early diagnosis is important, but people often overlook the signs of dementia as just part of the normal aging process. If you have a senior loved one, you should know the early signs of dementia so you can get help for them as soon as possible.

Memory Loss

One of the earliest signs of dementia is memory loss. It may be as simple as forgetting an appointment or someone’s name, but it’s out of the ordinary for the person. While this is not a definite indicator of dementia as many other conditions may also include memory loss as a symptom, it’s one you should be aware of.

As the disease progresses, the person becomes even more forgetful. They may forget how to get home from the grocery store or even where they were going. At this stage, the condition is more obvious. However, slight memory loss should never be taken lightly.

Early Signs of Dementia
Early Signs of Dementia

Other Symptoms

Many of the other early symptoms of dementia are mental in nature rather than physical. For this reason, it’s often difficult to detect an underlying medical condition. It’s essential to recognize these early symptoms to ensure treatment for a better quality of life.

If you have a loved one with any of these signs and are concerned about their health, contact a doctor:
Difficulty recognizing places and familiar people
Difficulty coming up with the right words in conversation
Difficulty completing normal tasks such as cooking with a recipe
Inability to use sound judgment
Inability to control a mood
Loss of personal care
Depression or agitation

Even though loss of memory is one of the earliest signs of dementia, a change of behavior or personality is often an early indication of some types of dementia. They may begin to exhibit unusual attitudes such as loss of caring about others’ welfare or rudeness.

Just as you would not assume that these symptoms are a normal part of getting older, you should not assume that they are signs of dementia. To get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment, you should contact your loved one’s doctor for an examination. Provide a detailed description of your family member’s symptoms to determine if they have some form of dementia. Treatment is available to slow the effects if it cannot be reversed or cured and to improve the quality of life for the present.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/tc/dementia-symptoms
http://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/early-warning-signs