The early-stage Symptoms of Dementia
There are an estimated more than 55 million people who have dementia globally, and this number is always growing; as people are living longer, more people are exposed to the dementia risk factor of old age, and should they happen to develop the condition, it can only worsen as time goes by since there’s no cure. Despite there being no known remedy to get rid of the disease, there are, however, various things people can do to manage and treat it – and one of those things is by looking out for the early-stage symptoms of dementia and catching the ailment in its early days.
Overall, there are different types of dementia to research, and they all affect people differently. It is common for people to react in different ways to the disease and show varied symptoms, as every human’s mind is individual and is affected by it in unique ways. Still, there are numerous common symptoms that tend to appear in most sufferers of dementia, and by keeping an eye out for them, you’ll give yourself better odds of minimizing them and managing the condition should you ever receive a diagnosis.
The Symptoms of Early Stage Dementia
Dementia affects people in varied ways at each stage, but in terms of the early days, the following are some common early signs of dementia that could be indicative that you or a loved one has developed the condition:
- Memory loss
- Getting confused by simple tasks
- Not knowing where you are
- Confused about the time and date
- Mood changes
- Easily stressed, irritated, or confused
- Difficulty focusing
- Forgetting words and names
These symptoms are all common and can sometimes go unnoticed or just be brushed off as old age. However, you will notice them more when the disease progresses, as they will become worse and more frequent.
Advanced Dementia Signs
Since the disease can only progress, more symptoms can emerge as time goes by, or symptoms that are already showing can become significantly worse.
The symptoms of later stage dementia include:
- Heightened memory problems, like forgetting family and friends and how to take care of themselves
- Mood problems – moods can swing rapidly, and other behavioural issues can appear
- Severe, frequent confusion can also cause them to zone out, get lost, and even neglect important daily tasks, like self-care and hygiene. Plus, they may be more likely to suffer accidents and compromise their safety.
- As confusion and mood worsen, their mental health may also decline in the form of depression and aggression.
- Weight loss – as the disease progresses, confusion and memory loss may cause the person to forget how to look after themselves. This can result in them failing to feed themselves or suffering a loss of appetite altogether.
- Communication issues – although not as common, some people can lose speech, in which case using facial expressions and hand signals may help.
- Mobility problems – often, they can lose the ability to walk and get around, so they have to use walking sticks, a walking frame, or even a wheelchair.
Naturally, these are not the only symptoms of dementia; the condition varies from person to person. What’s more, symptoms can also differ depending on what type of dementia the person has.
If you suspect that you or someone you know or care for might have dementia, it is vital that you consult a doctor straight away, as it is best to get symptoms checked and diagnosed as quickly as possible. If you suspect a loved one has the condition, they themselves probably won’t be able to recognize their own memory loss, confusion, and other symptoms. In this case, you must help them identify what’s going on and help them get to a doctor – and the earlier, the better.