Dementia includes over 100 kinds of mental disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and other. In fact, it represents degenerative and incurable disorders that are characterized by a breakdown of the mind. However, the most common form of dementia is the Alzheimer’s, namely it involves 50 to 70% of all cases of dementia.
Dementia is a horrible disease not only for the person who experiences it but also for the people around the affected person. There is still no cure for this disease even though there are numerous studies on this matter. What is most important about this disease is early detection of it. If it is detected in its early stage, then its progression can be slowed down and there would be still a chance for quality life.
The early signs are so obvious so that you cannot mistake them for something else. Dementia starts as a lapse of memory or misplacing time, however these signs can happen to anyone due to stress or hormonal changes, but if they appear more often than usual, then for sure you should not ignore them.
Therefore, you need to learn to recognize the signs in order to help yourself or to the person you know who experiences these signs.
Early Signs of Dementia
- Mood swings
Often changes of mood are a common notion in the early stages of dementia. These mood swings can vary from being unexpected and unanticipated, depressed or not being aware of what’s happening in the moment at all.
- Short-term memory issues
Things like forgetting where you have put your keys can happen to anyone, but if this becomes a frequent thing then it could be a sign of dementia. The common characteristics of people with dementia are that they can clearly remember something that happened years ago, but cannot remember what they did the day before.
Repeating is the key indication of dementia, for instance telling the same story or things twice, repeating the same job which was already done and also asking the same questions.
- Problems in choosing words
The other sign of dementia is difficulty in recalling words. It does not refer to any specific word, but to common everyday words which becomes a real difficulty for people with dementia. The inability to properly express themselves causes frustration and not only to them but also to the people around them. It actually reflects problems with the language centers of the brain.
- Problems with the writing
This is the same issue as with choosing words while speaking, in this case people with dementia have problems with choosing words while writing. Even finishing a long complete sentence can become a hard task.
- Concentration issues
This disease causes difficulties with the concentration like in the process of solving problems or making strategies. For these people it is difficult to plan something, to deal with numbers or follow already planned strategy.
- Not remembering where you are
People with dementia have difficulties in understanding space. They have no memory how did they come to a certain place and very often unexpectedly cannot determine where they are.
- Difficulty understanding time
Just like with the space issue, people with dementia cannot recognize the time. Time features like minutes, days, and years appear all the same, and the passage of time unexpectedly does not have any meaning to them.
- Feeling lethargic
Lethargy is a form of depression that most people with dementia experience it, meaning they start to lose interest in a hobby that used to be their favorite, or all of a sudden they do not have the need of going somewhere else. By no means should lethargy be ignored.
- Experiencing difficulties with changes
People who recognize that they are experiencing early signs of dementia become frightened as they are aware of what this disease can do to their brain. Therefore, they start to resist to any new changes brought into their life, even the smallest one. This results from the fear that they will forget what they want to do or become disoriented.
- Everyday tasks become unexpectedly difficult
Even though they are performed each day, everyday tasks can become all of a sudden confusing or impossible for people with dementia. Things like everyday chores, places they have frequently visited can become suddenly confusing and difficult.
- Problems following storylines or guidelines
Since people with dementia start to lack focus and concentration everything that involves series, steps or developments can become a real problem. For instance, book stories, movies or following instructions on how to do a craft or project.
How to act if you notice any of these signs?
As aforementioned for the time being dementia cannot be cured. Yet, early detection of dementia is of vital essence for the people who experience it and for the people that surround them. The progress of the disease can be slowed down if it is detected on time and if a treatment plan is incorporated as early as possible. Dementia can be managed with the right therapy and support which the Alzheimer’s Association site can offer. So, if you notice some of these symptoms happening to you or to someone else check this site for more information and guidance. Likewise, immediately consult your physician.