Have you noticed that your loved one has started to become increasingly forgetful, having difficulties with holding conversations or is seeming slightly different from their usual self? This could just be a normal part of ageing but below are some definitive dementia symptoms to keep an eye out for.
While there are not definitive set rules for diagnosing dementia, there can be some common symptoms for the condition. Learning to spot these early can make your loved ones journey more comfortable by putting in place the correct support from early on.
Personality, general health, and social activities can all alter the impact of dementia. It is important to note that no two people will experience the condition in exactly the same way, so it can sometimes be difficult to spot mannerisms and signs – especially in the initial stages.
Your loved ones may display just one of these symptoms, or a combination of a few, but it helps to be aware of the subtle signs. Symptoms can vary depending on the area of the brain that is damaged and so all come along with differing indicators.
One of the most common symptoms linked to Dementia is the loss of memory. This could be small things you may notice your loved one is repeating questions, unable to recall previous conversations, forgetting names and faces or forgetting things they have done. Of course forgetfulness is not an uncommon part of the ageing process but people who have dementia may find it increasingly difficult to recall important pieces of information.
Apathy commonly occurs in early dementia. A person with symptoms could lose interest in hobbies or activities they once used to love. They may not
want to go out anymore or do anything fun. They may lose interest in spending time with family and friends and seem emotionally flat. Your loved one could also start to display personality changes such as agitation, suspicion, and irritability. When their memory begins to cause difficulties becoming emotional is not uncommon.
Another symptom of dementia is struggling to maintain conversations. It may involve searching for the right words and sometimes substituting them with unusual choices. Your loved one may find verbal and written communication difficult to understand
While its normal to occasionally forget what day it is or lose track of time. Individuals that are living with dementia can become lost in familiar places, confuse night and day, forget mealtimes and have difficulty remembering someone they have met before.
Possible treatment/next steps
Dementia is not a natural result of ageing and so it is imperative to seek guidance from a medical professional sooner rather than later so that the correct adjustments can be made early on.
The Alzheimer’s Society suggests that you think about these few questions before starting a conversation about dementia:
- Has your loved one noticed the symptoms?
- Do they think their problems are just a natural part of ageing?
- Are they scared about what the changes could mean?
- What could be stopping them from seeing the GP about their memory problems?
There will never be a right or wrong way to approach the subject of dementia .It normal for the person to become defensive or dismissive of your suggestions but its important to consider their point of view and offer gentle reassurance.
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