What are the signs of dementia?
Did visiting mum on Mother’s day raise concerns she is showing signs of Dementia? Unsure what dementia signs to look for?
The modern family is quite literally growing apart and although emotional ties are strong, the time between family visiting elderly relatives is less frequent than ever before. Visiting mum on Mother’s day throws a spotlight on their health and behaviour, so recognising the early signs of dementia is important, so your loved one can get the appropriate help and support as soon as possible,
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease affecting one in six people over the age of 80. By 2025 it is expected that over one million people in the UK will be living with a form of dementia. Every person is unique and dementia effects everyone differently as signs and symptoms differ depending on the type of dementia. These symptoms are dependent upon the section of brain that is damaged. No two people will experience dementia symptoms the same way which is why it’s important to know the early warning signs of dementia so you can ensure an early diagnosis. Although Dementia affects predominantly those over 65 there are now over 40,000 young adults living with Dementia in the UK. As dementia affects everyone differently, it’s hard to predict how long somebody will be able to live a normal life following diagnosis.
Getting an official diagnosis begins with your GP who can help answer questions you may have about dementia. In preparation for your doctor’s appointment make a note whether mum has shown any of the following dementia warning signs:
Here are 10 of the most common warning signs for dementia
1) Memory loss
One of the first signs of dementia is memory loss. Becoming generally forgetful is not always a signal towards dementia – but short term memory loss can be one of the early signs to watch out for. Is mum forgetting familiar dates or names and also the context in which she remembers them.
2) Change in personality
As a disease that affects the brain, dementia can also have an impact on a family member’s personality. If you have noticed any recent changes in her mood or behaviour, such as out of character mood swings or emotions, this could be a warning sign. Memory problems can often make people frustrated and angry.
3) Misplacing possessions
We all forget where we put our keys from time to time – but for someone with dementia, misplacing items is a common occurrence. They may also misplace possessions in unusual places, for example items which are not food may end up in the fridge.
Somebody living with the onset of dementia can become easily disorientated to time and place. For example, they may get confused about the time of day and turn up for dinner in the morning. They may also become lost in familiar places, which can be distressing.
Dementia can make a person very passive – they may sit staring into space for long periods of time, sleep a lot or watching TV. If you notice somebody is losing interest in their hobbies or social events, it may be a sign of dementia if there are other symptoms pointing in that direction.
Dementia affects brain function and over time, a person living with dementia will lose the ability to perform basic tasks for themselves. It is important to secure the right dementia care for yourself or your loved one before the condition takes hold.
6) Finding the right words
Does mum struggle to find the right words or have trouble following a conversation? They may stop in the middle of a conversation or constantly repeat themselves. They also may struggle naming a familiar object or use the wrong name.
7). Poor Judgement
Are they wearing winter clothing on a hot day or perhaps they are overlooking a health problem that needs attention. You may have noticed they are paying less attention to their appearance or are being careless with their money – giving money away money to people they hardly know.
8) Difficulty completing tasks
Dementia makes everyday tasks more difficult. If mum is struggling to change channels on a television or make a cup of tea – you may want to pay close attention to ensure this isn’t a sign of dementia. If she has difficulty completing tasks such as following a recipe or preparing a simple meal these are also dementia warning signs.
9) Trouble with images or spatial relationships
Is mum having difficulty reading, judging distances or struggling to determine colour or contrast? They could even look in a mirror and and think someone else is in the room and not realise they are the person in the mirror.
10) Loss of abstract thinking
Those living with dementia with Alzheimer’s disease may lose the ability to solve problems. Is mum struggling to keep track of their household bills? She may have difficulty with problem-solving or do simple mathematics because she has forgotten what to do with the numbers.
Looking for Dementia Carers?
If you’re looking for care on a short term or long term live in care basis – then our Dementia carers can help. Our Dementia carers are highly experienced in providing dementia care and understand the different stages of Dementia and how to help support loved ones and their families.