One of the most commonly misunderstood things about dementia is that is not a disease unto itself. Rather, dementia is an umbrella term describing a collection of symptoms that involve impairments to communication, thinking, and memory. Dementia is most frequently brought on by Alzheimer’s disease, but its onset can be caused by other things, such as brain injury or stroke. Dementia is frequently discussed in American culture; therefore, if you are caring for an elderly loved one who is experiencing some lapses in memory, you may worry that it is a sign of a much larger problem. Below, you will find a list of symptoms that could indicate possible dementia.
- One sign of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. Your loved one may feel like the words are there, but they are just out of reach of their memory.
- Surprisingly, changes in mood can be an indication of dementia. Your loved one may become depressed due to the other symptoms they are experiencing, or their impaired judgment may result in a sudden personality shift.
- Another sign of dementia is trouble with short term memory. An example of this is if your loved one can remember things from the past quite clearly, but struggles to remember things that happened earlier in the day.
- Your loved one may begin to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. You may see them withdraw from friends and family.
- Your loved one may suddenly struggle with or forget how to do familiar everyday tasks, such as balancing a checkbook or the rules to a favorite card game. Alternately, they may repeat daily tasks several times because they do not remember completing them previously.
- Confusion can be a sign of dementia. Perhaps they can regularly no longer remember where they put their glasses before they went to bed, or it takes them longer than usual to remember a relative’s name. They may also lose their sense of spatial orientation, even somewhere as familiar as their own home.
- If you notice that your loved one seems to have difficulty following you when you are telling a story, it could be a sign that they are struggling to remember the definitions of the words you are using.
Medically speaking, a person must be suffering from at least two types of impairment that are significantly interfering with daily life in order to be diagnosed with dementia. If someone you love is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to schedule an appointment with their physician immediately in order for them to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.