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Symptoms of Dementia

June 29, 2018

Dementia is a collection of symptoms which can occur due to a variety of diseases. Dementia symptoms can include thought, communication and memory impairments but doesn’t automatically mean that it is dementia.

To be diagnosed with dementia a person needs to show at least two types of impairment that significantly interferes with their everyday life. A person with dementia might experience impairments in: memory, communication, language, focus and reasoning. Some things to look for:

  1. Having trouble finding the right words
    An early sign of dementia is a person having difficulty finding the proper words to express themselves or explaining something. They might all together have trouble communicating their thoughts.
  2. Short-term memory changes
    Subtle changes in memory, especially short-term, can be an early symptom of dementia. A person with dementia might remember details of events a long time ago but not what happened today.
  3. Mood Changes
    With dementia it is common to have a change in mood, showing signs of depression or changes in personality. Mood changes are usually tough to see in yourself but are apparent to others around you.
  4. Trouble completing normal tasks
    Small shifts in one’s ability to complete typical tasks may indicate early dementia. This may start off by having difficulty with more complex tasks like playing games and shift to difficulty with familiar tasks, learning new things or following new routines.
  5. Apathy
    They might lose interest in their hobbies and activities, may not want to go out or do anything fun and just seem flat with their emotions.
  6. Confusion
    With early dementia memory, thinking or judgement may lapse and can lead to confusion. They may not be able to hold normal interactions with people or remember faces.
  7. Losing a sense of direction
    Landmarks or directions that once were familiar may not be recognizable anymore. Following detailed directions or instructions may also be difficult.
  8. Repetition
    This is a very common sign of dementia due to behavioral changes and memory loss. People with dementia might repeat the same questions or daily tasks as they don’t remember if they asked them or did the task.
  9. Struggle in adapting to change
    This can cause great fear for someone when they can’t follow what others are saying, can’t remember people or why they are doing something.

Showing some of these signs might not mean a person has dementia; they might just be normal signs of aging. Symptoms should not be ignored if you are experiencing a few of these symptoms talk with your doctor.

If you or your loved one is diagnosed with dementia and in need of some additional assistance, give CCAH a call. We have staff that is specially trained using the “Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease” program provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. These caregivers are trained to provide effective and personalized hands-on dementia care, whether in the home, a day program, assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

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