If you have noticed puzzling changes in your loved one’s behavior, PeachTree Place Assisted Living in Ogden and West Haven, Utah has put together a list of dementia signs and stages to help you determine if dementia might be the cause and when to seek help from your doctor.
Ten Early Warning Signs Of Dementia
These can vary with each person and may not be immediately recognizable, but here are some common early symptoms for you to look for:
- Memory Loss
- Difficulty With Tasks
- Language Problems
- Changes In Abstract Thinking
- Poor Judgment
- Poor Spatial Skills
- Misplacing Things
- Mood, Personality or Behavior Changes
- Loss Of Initiative
While you may occasionally forget things only to remember them later, your loved one may forget much more often or not be able to remember them at all.
Difficulty With Tasks
You may sometimes get distracted and forget to serve the salad with your meal, but a person with dementia finds it difficult just following all the steps required to prepare a meal.
Getting lost in a town they have lived in for many years, confusion about where they are or thinking they are in a past time of their life.
Forgetting simple words such as “cloud” or “bird,” using inappropriate words, or not understanding what you are saying.
Falling or having fender benders when driving a car because of inability to judge distance or direction.
Mood, Personality, Or Behavior Changes
Lack of inhibitions in a previously reserved person or on the other hand becoming withdrawn and suspicious when previously outgoing; rapid and extreme mood swings; confusion.
Seven Stages Of Dementia
Although these too may vary in your loved one, recognizing the progression of symptoms is important in knowing when to get help.
No Impairment: Lack of apparent symptoms, but possible underlying issues.
Very Mild Decline: Subtle changes in behavior while remaining independent.
Mild Decline: More noticeable changes in rational thinking and short-term memory, such as repeating things within the same conversation or inability to remember recent events.
Moderate Decline: More memory problems, difficulty in making plans, traveling and handling finances.
Moderately Severe Decline: Confusion about the date and time of day, forgetting names of acquaintances or their address or phone number, needing assistance with basic everyday tasks.
Severe Decline: Forgetting the name of their spouse or immediate family members, personality changes and mood swings, requiring help with eating or toileting.
Very Severe Decline: Inability to speak coherently or walk without assistance.
Getting A Diagnosis
If you suspect your loved one is showing early signs of dementia, talk to your doctor about getting a complete medical assessment. It may confirm the presence of dementia or may also disclose an entirely treatable condition. An Early diagnosis is not only critical for treatment but can assist you in getting dementia care and support. Contact PeachTree Place Assisted Living in Ogden, Utah to discuss options for your loved one as their needs change over time.