The Warning Signs of Dementia
Witnessing an aging loved one decline cognitively can be alarming. And, if you’re like most people, you’re not sure how to respond to these types of changes. Surveys have shown that fewer than one in five Americans have even heard of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that can be an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Also, the benefits of early diagnosis are not widely known in the public sphere.
But when it comes to dementia, awareness is key to improving outcomes for individuals and their families. Let’s look at why pre-diagnosing early indicators of dementia is worthwhile and what the main warning signs of dementia are.
Pre-Diagnosing Early Indicators of Dementia
Diagnosing cases of dementia and potential Alzheimer’s cases early on can have a positive effect on the lives of both the person living with the condition and their caregivers.
For one, pre-diagnosing early indicators provides an explanation for brain changes someone might be experiencing. If you notice potential signs in yourself or someone you care for, identifying the difference between normal aging and a dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is key. Only testing from a dementia specialist physician can give you certainty in this matter, and the right education and understanding lets everyone be better prepared for the next steps of treatment and care.
Knowing whether things like increased difficulty with decision-making, language, and memory are caused by dementia takes away some of the anxiety and confusion that comes with cognitive decline.
It also opens the doorway to treatments and solutions that can improve cognition and enhance one’s quality of life.
- With a diagnosis, patients can access services and support that help them live at home for longer.
- They can plan ahead for future legal, financial, and health care needs.
- Normalized Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) can also cause dementia like symptoms. Being evaluated by a neurologist or specialist is the key to differentiating between actual dementia and other diseases/conditions that resemble dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
They can also engage in memory care services that might improve outcomes – research shows that seniors who receive psychological and social treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s have greater rates of remaining in their own homes.
What Are The Warning Signs of Dementia?
Noticing signs of mild cognitive impairment isn’t always easy. There are some brain changes that are a normal part of aging, so it can be difficult to tell the difference between what’s normal and what’s a dementia warning sign.
Challenges with multitasking, occasional forgetfulness, and slower processing speeds may be a part of normal brain aging – but they could also indicate the early signs of a cognitive condition. That’s why it is important for someone experiencing these phenomena to get evaluated by a specialized physician, in order to determine if these are merely age-related changes or if there is a diagnosable cognitive disorder. More pronounced memory and cognitive functioning changes can be a warning sign of dementia. Here are five signs to look out for:
Forgetting where you put your keys or the name of someone you just met is something we all do from time to time. But, when it becomes difficult to remember the names of close family members or name everyday items, it could be dementia-related memory loss.
People experiencing mild cognitive decline might repeat questions or take longer to complete normal tasks because they aren’t able to concentrate as well as they used to.
Becoming upset over everyday situations or starting to act unreasonably suspicious of people or society can indicate something is wrong.
People with mild or early-stage dementia might have trouble remembering where they are or what time of day it is. They might forget to eat meals at their normal times or not recognize locations they’ve frequented for years.
When someone isn’t able to complete everyday tasks on their own, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and running errands, they might be struggling cognitively.
Any or all of these signs indicate that your loved one needs help. Talk to your family member about getting a brain health checkup and looking into services that give them the support they need.
Access Memory Care Services for All Stages of Dementia
At Town Square, seniors receive compassionate support in an engaging environment, based on the principles of reminiscence therapy and delivered by our compassionate and skilled dementia-trained staff in an immersive mid-century-style setting. Our members can also access basic medical care from our trained nursing staff, including assessments to help identify medical needs and resources and suggestions for caregivers.