As part of our work providing elderly care in Bryn Mawr, we at Neighborly Home Care believe that people increasingly have the need for better understanding the causes and signs of dementia. We began this series of articles so that those with aging relatives know what to watch for, and how to deal with dementia when it appears.
In the previous blog in our series, we presented an overview of the various conditions and other behaviors which are known to bring about dementia. This month, we discuss the most common warning signs of dementia in a person.
Memory loss is often the most obvious sign of dementia and therefore one of the first that we notice in a person. Some long-term memory is often unaffected, but someone with dementia will have increasing problems remembering everyday matters like why they entered a room, or where they were driving to. Sometimes they also have problems learning new things because they are unable to retain the information.
Those with dementia will often have a loss of language skills, particularly a difficulty remembering the right words for what they want to say. In some cases, their vocabulary and word use may regress and they may have trouble understanding what is being said to them.
Shifting moods are common with dementia. In some cases, there may be a marked change in personality: becoming depressive, or childishly impetuous, for example. Dementia can cause fearfulness and confusion to occur, followed by impatience or anger directed at nearby friends or family.
Balancing a budget, doing the laundry, or performing other aspects of an everyday routine can become very difficult for those with dementia. To be clear, we are referring to cognitive inability to accomplish such tasks rather than actual physical issues.
Dementia often leads to mental inflexibility, and an inability to deal with new circumstances. One major sign of dementia in its early stages is a sudden desire to have fixed routines, and the onset of stress or confusion if those routines are interrupted.
Some mental acuity loss is normal for people as they age. The difference between dementia and simple aging is severity. Dementia causes a loss of skills that directly and progressively reduce the ability of persons to take care of themselves day to day. These changes can cause fearfulness, worry and frustration for those undergoing them. Seek help to give them the support they need.
If you believe a loved one is beginning to show signs of dementia, you can find many sources of help. The first step is to have your loved one diagnosed by a doctor and receive medical advice. Next, contact a provider of elderly care in Bryn Mawr, like Neighborly Home Care, for assistance options. When your loved one requires more attention, you have choices, such as regular visits, full time care, or respite care. Call today for more information.