5 Warning Signs Someone Has Dementia

“Can I remember exactly when I ‘lost’ my husband? Was it the moment when I had to start tying his shoelaces for him? Or when we stopped being able to laugh with each other? Looking back, that turning point is impossible to pinpoint. But then, that’s the nature of dementia.” – Judy Parfitt, English Actress

Dementia is a tragic condition, just like any other illness which severely affects cognitive function.  This article discusses what dementia is, what isn’t, some warning signs of the condition, and ways to treat it properly.

What is dementia?

According to the Organization, dementia is “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.”  Alzheimer`s and loss of memory are two examples.  In general, dementia is a gradual decline in thinking skills, reasoning skills, and memory.

Dementia is not a specific disease.  The term is rather an umbrella term to a wide range of symptoms which may point to the presence of a severe cognitive disorder.  Because of its complex nature, dementia can only be diagnosed by a neurologist.

What dementia is NOT

According to the Alzheimer`s organization, Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. Changes to memory often (not always) occurs as one ages.

The major difference between “age-related” memory problems and dementia is the level to which daily life is affected.  Many people experience acute bouts of brain fog or forget something once in a while. But, this doesn’t mean that they have dementia.

5 Warning Signs Someone Has Dementia

Difficulty planning or solving problems

Some people with dementia experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan.  Tasks which were once simple, such as following a recipe or keeping a track of bank balances, become much more complicated.

Trouble with once-familiar tasks

Decreased ability to complete simple and routine tasks is one of the key signs of dementia.   Maybe the person is not able to navigate a familiar route or cannot remember how to play their favorite game. Doing something recurrent is normally an engrained neuronal activity, which means that people are able to complete it without thinking. Any visible change in person’s ability to complete a habitual task seeks attention.

New problems when communicating

People with dementia often find it difficult to follow a conversation. They may stop interacting; have no idea how to continue, or forget about something they said.  Inability to find the right word and similar vocabulary changes are also very common.

Withdrawal from social or work activities

When a person starts to experience the cognitive issues that dementia brings, they often begin to withdrawal from social or work activities.  Part of this withdrawal may be due to personality changes, denial, or fear.

Memory loss disruptive to daily life

Memory lapses are very common and happen to everyone,  nit the rarely disrupt our day.  During the early stages of dementia, forgetting recent information is one of the major signs of the underlying condition.  Other notable signs include:

  • Forgetting important event or dates
  • An increasing reliance on memory aids
  • An increasing reliance on others to remember something
  • Repeatedly asking for the same information already given

6 Key Recommendations for Preventing Dementia

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Keep cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels in check

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