Did you know that 55 million people struggle with dementia worldwide? This number might be shocking, but it’s set to rise by over 20 million by 2030.
If you’re caring for an aging parent, you might be wondering if you’re missing any obvious dementia signs. Many people don’t know how to differentiate dementia from common forgetfulness.
We’re here to talk about some of the early warning signs of dementia, so you know what to look for. Read on to learn more.
1. Difficulty With Basic Tasks
This is a common early sign of dementia, and it’s one that’s easy to spot. If your elderly loved one is suddenly struggling with tasks that they once completed every day, it might be time to take them to get evaluated.
There are other reasons that someone might struggle with basic tasks. They may be managing pain or feeling more fatigued than normal. If someone is in the early stages of dementia, however, it’s the result of forgetfulness and difficulty keeping track of small individual steps.
It’s a good idea to write down specific steps of tasks (for example, breaking down every step of doing laundry) so your loved one can stay independent for as long as possible.
2. Sudden Mild to Moderate Forgetfulness
Everyone forgets things from time to time, and this usually isn’t a cause for concern. If forgetfulness pops up all of the sudden and it seems to be getting more severe or more common, it’s a good idea to get an evaluation.
This can include forgetting words, forgetting names, or forgetting events. Your loved one may always feel like something is on the tip of their tongue.
3. Mood or Behavior Changes
This is a lesser-known early sign of dementia. If your loved one is displaying significant and unexplainable mood or behavior changes, speak with a doctor.
Dementia can cause people who are otherwise mild and friendly to be reactive and harsh. People who once felt confident may start experiencing intense anxiety or depression.
These behavior changes can also include sudden withdrawal from friend groups or family. Your loved one may be less willing to attend events or gatherings.
4. Poor Judgment
Even the most rational person can start displaying poor judgment when they’re living with dementia.
People with dementia may start pursuing risk-taking behaviors that they wouldn’t have otherwise done. They may also struggle with money management and are more prone to falling for obvious scams.
This is one reason that many people encourage their loved ones to move to independent living facilities during the early stages of dementia. They are in a safe environment and can easily transfer to more secure stages of senior care as the disease progresses.
Catch These Early Warning Signs of Dementia
Have you noticed any of these early warning signs of dementia in your loved one?
Dementia has no cure, and the disease will continue to progress as your loved one ages. Noticing the signs early on will help you take better care of your elderly loved one and get them the help that they need to be safe and happy.
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