While many people think of dementia as a disease, it is actually a general term used to describe a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily activities. If you love a senior citizen, then you need to know what signs to look for if you are concerned about them possibly having dementia. Since some dementia-like symptoms can be reversed, it is important to act as early as possible. Here are some signs that you may want to consider.
While it is normal for a person to occasionally forget a name or date, forgetting things that interfere with daily living can be a sign of dementia. This is particularly true if the individual has just learned the information because long-term memory often stays stronger than short-term memory. You may notice the senior relying more on helpful electronic devices or family members to stay organized. You may also notice them asking for the same information many times. The person may also forget important dates or events.
Experience Challenges Problem Solving
While everyone makes an occasional mathematical error when trying to balance their checkbook, people who are developing dementia may have more problems than average solving problems. For example, they may have trouble following a recipe even if they have cooked for many years. They may also have trouble remembering to pay monthly bills. You may notice that the person shies away from doing tasks that require concentration. You may also notice them taking longer to do routine daily living activities.
Forgetting Where They Are
While everyone gets lost occasionally, people who are developing dementia may forget where they are when they are in a familiar place. They may also have trouble telling you how they got to that location. They may have trouble telling you about something that has just happened. If this is occurring frequently, then you may want to consider how safe it is for them to continue to live alone. It is estimated that 60 percent of people with dementia wander.
Stop Participating in Conversations
While everyone gets lost in their own thoughts occasionally and does not follow a conversation, doing this routinely can be a sign of dementia. The individual may frequently repeat themselves. Alternatively, he or she may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea what they were talking about. They may call common objects by the wrong name. The person with dementia may also struggle to find the right words to express their ideas routinely.
Up to 9.9 million people are diagnosed with dementia annually. Assisted-living dementia care may be the answer to helping them enjoy their senior years.
By Hannah Whittenly
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.