The early signs of dementia in your aging loved one may start as subtle changes that you don’t notice right away. Forgetfulness, mixed-up speech, and behavior changes might seem normal at first, but failing to act right away can lead to larger problems as the disease progresses.
The good news is, you can spot these early signs of dementia with the right knowledge and potentially slow down the progress. Keep reading to find out the most common symptoms so that you can get your loved one the help he or she needs right when it starts.
Dementia, or Just Aging?
One thing to note before we dive into the symptoms of early dementia is that these signs can typically be confused with the aging process, itself. It’s completely normal to forget where you’ve placed your keys, or what day of the week it is, which is why recognizing dementia when it starts can be difficult.
While we’ll go through the most common early signs of dementia, we’ll compare it to normal age-related changes, so that you can spot the subtle differences in yourself or your loved one.
Memory loss might be the most common symptom of both aging and early dementia. The difference? A sign of dementia is forgetting something recent, such as a doctor’s appointment or telephone number, and not remembering it at all. A normal sign of aging is forgetting such information, but recalling it later on.
Whether it’s with directions in a typically familiar area, or losing track of time and dates, confusion is a common symptom of dementia. However, if you or your loved one are confused about something such as the day of the week, but work it out later, this is normally just a sign of aging.
Issues with Speaking or Writing
Using words incorrectly, forgetting common vocabulary, or starting a sentence with no idea how to finish it, are all signs of early dementia. However, simply having trouble finding the right word to explain something is a normal part of the aging process.
Trouble with Daily Tasks
A person suffering from early dementia symptoms may forget how to do simple, everyday tasks, such as preparing a meal, locking the door, or turning off the oven. This is different from forgetting something menial, such as how to adjust the microwave settings.
Difficulty with Handling Finances
Another early sign of dementia involves handling finances. If you notice that your parent or loved one is spending money more than usual, forgetting or struggling to pay bills, or having issues with calculations in general, consider consulting their doctor.
Unexplained Mood Swings
Beginning stages of dementia can also bring on uncharacteristically changing mood swings. Your loved one may feel angry, depressed, or experience anxiety and panic attacks one minute, and be back to normal the next. On the other hand, it’s normal for one to become irritated due to something such as a change in routine.
Learn More About Early Signs of Dementia
If you believe that your loved one may be experiencing some beginning signs of dementia, it’s best to consult with his or her doctor first. Additionally, our team at WellSprings Home Care is happy to offer trained home care providers if he or she needs extra help at home. Contact us at (610) 463-0880 or schedule a Free Consultation today!