What Are the Early Signs of Dementia in the Elderly?
It’s normal for older people to occasionally misplace their keys or forget to pick up an item at the grocery store. But when memory loss becomes so severe that it interferes with a person’s ability to manage everyday activities, it could indicate early-stage dementia. If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, you can be on the lookout for early signs of dementia.
Difficulty with Daily Activities
An older person may find it difficult to perform routine activities, such as driving to familiar destinations, following recipes, or keeping up with grooming and hygiene.
Lapses in Judgement
Poor decision-making is another of the early signs of dementia. Affected individuals may easily fall prey to financial exploitation or buy things they don’t need.
People with dementia may have difficulty articulating thoughts, in writing or in conversations, trailing off mid-sentence and not knowing how to continue, or repeating themselves frequently.
Short-Term Memory Loss May Be a Sign of Dementia
You may notice that your loved one cannot learn or recall new information, yet he can remember something that happened 30 years ago.
People exhibiting early signs of dementia may easily become confused as they forget where they are, how they got there, or how much time has passed.
General Cognitive Decline
It’s not uncommon for those dealing with memory loss to have trouble problem-solving and working with numbers. They may also be impaired in their ability to judge distances and distinguish colors.
The person may have sudden mood swings or seem to be emotionally flat.
Someone struggling with memory loss may lose interest in work, hobbies, and other activities she once enjoyed. Difficulties in following conversations or remembering how to play favorite card or board games may cause her to withdraw from social activities with friends and family, too.
Keep in mind that other health problems besides dementia can cause declines in memory and cognition. Normally, a person must exhibit at least two of the above-mentioned symptoms to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. While doctors cannot always identify what causes dementia, and there is no cure, dementia treatment is available to slow its progression.
Lake Behavioral Hospital offers comprehensive dementia treatment to help patients enhance their quality of life. Contact us to schedule an evaluation or learn more about how we can help.
2615 Washington Street
Waukegan, IL 60085
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Via I-94 to IL-120 E / Belvidere Rd. in Warren Township.
Take the IL – 120 E / Belvidere Rd. exit from I-94 W.
Continue on Belvidere Rd. Drive to Washington St. in Waukegan.
Lake Behavioral Hospital will be on the right, located at previous Vista Medical Center West campus.