Many things change as we grow older, and memory and behavior can be some of those things. The people closest to us, such as family and friends, are often the first ones to see these changes. However, memory loss is not a natural part of the aging process. There are 10 early signs of dementia that everyone should know to keep a look out for.
1. Changes in mood and personality
Intense and quick changes in a individuals mood can be an early sign of dementia. If a person tends to be easily triggered in everyday situations or there is an increase in suspiciousness and fearfulness. Their emotions are triggered very easily and can be quite intense. For example, one can get very angry about something a family member said to them although it shouldn’t. They can also get angry due to a loss of independence in doing everyday chores and tasks.
2. Memory loss disrupting a persons everyday routine
A person tends to be more forgetful and starts to rely heavily on memory aids such as sticky notes. They also tend to repeat themselves noticeably often. There is a noticeable difference in their short-term memory as they forget very recent events easily.
3. Decrease in judgement
An individual starts paying less attention to money management, neglects hygiene and pets. They also fall for obvious tricks such as scams and hacks. These individuals start to neglect certain factors necessary to good decision-making.
4. Misplacing things that they usually do not
The person starts to place objects in places they would not usually and then forget where these objects are. For example, keys in the bathroom, milk in the cupboard, and other similar events.
5. Having a hard time with talking and/or writing
The individual has difficulty joining or following a conversation, and starting one. They also increasingly forget common words while talking or writing. They start replacing these words with general terms, like “thing”. For example, “What are you doing on that thing in your hands?” when they are referring to your phone.
6. Social isolation
You start to notice a change in attitude when it comes to going to social events or even work. The person doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything outside of their home. They stop going to places like the office, church, etc. Social isolation can accelerate the decline of dementia and further impact the person living with it.
7. Increased difficulty in solving problems
The person has difficulty with actions they have been doing for years. They can have difficulty remembering how to pay their bills or how to cook their favourite meal. This person also has a hard time acquiring new sets of skills. They may not understand what others want from them, hence making them angry and agitated.
8. Difficulty with day-to-day tasks
There is going to be a change in the persons’ capabilities performing everyday tasks. They will start having difficulty with things like cooking, driving, shopping, and more. These capabilities will slowly decline as time passes and the person will become more dependent on external help.
9. Increased difficulty with spatial relations
A person potentially affected by dementia will have more difficulty with their balance and will often trip over things. They will have a hard time judging the distance of objects whether it is in front of them or across a room. You may also notice that spilling and dropping things will become more frequent.
10. Losing track of time and place
The person will start to lose track of dates and days of the week. They will have a hard time understanding events that they will attend later. You will start to notice an increasing amount of confusion and the person will seem somewhat lost.