Early Signs Of Dementia
It is important that the early signs of dementia
be identified to start treatment
Early Signs of Dementia
The First of the Three Stages of Dementia
It is important that the early signs of dementia be identified to start treatment. The first stage in the three stages of dementia can be difficult to detect. Many that are experiencing some memory difficulties are able to compensate and hide their difficulties.
The majority of the different types of dementia will present with just some memory problems, but not always. The neurons, or brain cells, are already starting to deteriorate.
It is at this time, the brain is still able to process information and learning new things is beneficial. Please visit here to learn more about how the brain would benefit from new and different experiences.
Here are some early signs of dementia that should be a key to seek testing for this condition:
- Memory problems such as forgetfulness
- Word finding problems or a nonsensical word substitution
- Increased difficulty understanding written or verbal communication
- Unable to recall things, such as names of TV stars, who is president etc.
- May experience being disoriented at times.
- May repeat things often and present it as if was a new topic.
- Avoids changes and dislikes any type of challenge.
- Exhibits poor judgment, has difficulty making decisions.
- May forget how to use an everyday item such as the stove or washing machine.
- Math becomes more difficult, routines such as paying the bills becomes difficult.
- Becoming socially inappropriate, unusually friendly, flirting excessively or touching and invading another person personal space. Shows lack of consideration for others.
- Becoming very apathetic or lack of interest in hobbies and outside interests
- May exhibit a flat affect, meaning not able to show or experience happy or sad emotions
- Becomes socially isolated or withdrawn
- Angers easily, may even have periods of explosive outbursts or temper tantrums
- May wander
- Easily agitated
- Gets out of bed at night
- May become noisy or boisterous
- May be suspicious or paranoid of everyone
- May experience depression
- Experience unusual levels of anxiety
- Have insomnia
- May experience hallucinations, seeing or hearing things that are not there.
- May begin to express some abnormal thoughts and beliefs Changes in Abilities to Function:
- Begins to neglect themselves and personal hygiene
- Neglects house hold responsibilities
- Gets lost walking or driving
- Inability to follow a recipe or instructions
- Begins to have trouble with paying bills and handling money
- Has difficulty with shopping
- If working, will have problems with functioning at work. Will begin to make mistakes on the job.
- It is important to seek a diagnosis and treatment. It is important that the caregiver make the health care provider aware of the mental, personality or behavioral changes that may be exhibited.
- As a caregiver, you may feel frustrated and frightened because the individual you are concerned about is able to conceal their problems and deny that they even exist. It is important to make the health care providers aware of tasks that you may have taken over, as the individual may no longer be able to perform that task. (ex- shopping, bill paying etc)
- Be able to identify to the health care provider problems with hygiene, lack of interest in hobbies, etc anything noted in the above categories.
- After a diagnosis is made, ask what type of dementia and begin learning about the future disease process. Be prepared to begin to educate yourself and others, including health care professionals on this disease. Living with a person with dementia, will make you more of an expert than the professionals.
- As the dementia signs start to present themselves, it is important to maintain as much independence for as long as possible. That means giving cues, or reminders to encourage personal hygiene and dressing. Make sure that you follow up and that clean clothes are on and that personal hygiene was preformed.
- Address one topic at a time. Do not talk about eating breakfast while dressing. Help the individual stay focused and allow them to finish what they have started before addressing a new subject or project
- Introduce new and different things in the morning as this is when they will be more alert and able to handle things. Realize that as the day goes on, they will tire more easily and can become irritable, argumentative or even angry.
Learn about brain fitness and how it may help the situation. Begin to incorporate it into your day and that of the individual with early onset dementia. See the planning in Advance section of my site to prepare for future care needs. Read the when to stop driving page. Get more advice here.
Investigate and learn about habilitation therapy techniques. This is a concept that creates positive emotions and well being in those suffering from dementia.
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