Symptoms of Dementia
In the past couple of emails, I noted that the dementia is progressive. That means it starts without symptoms, and then gradually the symptoms increase. Eventually, they interfere with daily life.
So, what should you look for?
Early signs of forgetfulness is often a key. This is sometimes described as forgetting why I went into a room, or where I left my keys. Of course, such things do not mean you have dementia, but they are possible symptoms. Forgetting directions to a common destination can also happen.
For others, poor decisions might be more apparent first. This can show up as a “lack of filter” in comments. I’ve heard seniors say amazing things they would never have said before the onset of dementia, and you probably have too. Another common example of poor decisions involves financial concerns. For example, a client lost multiple $100,000+ “investments” because he could no longer gauge the risk associated with the choices he was making.
Dementia in the general sense is different from the case of Alzheimer’s in the specific. Here is a list of Alzheimer’s symptoms you can read if you want more information.
What if I see a change?
People with memory loss or other possible signs of Alzheimer’s may find it hard to recognize they have a problem. Signs of dementia may be more obvious to family members or friends than it is to the person. Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you see these kinds of changes in yourself or a loved one, don’t panic. It does not mean that dementia is starting! But, it is a good idea to check things out for yourself, and pay attention.
Keep an eye on changes, and consider planning ahead. You should look into legal documents, and be certain that IF there is a significant change in capacity, the family will be able to adapt and assist.
Help is available
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease.
You are gaining knowledge by reading about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so use that knowledge to help your loved ones or yourself.