An early diagnosis can be extremely helpful in producing better health outcomes for any disease. Dementia is no exception.
When dementia is detected early on, families can better plan the next steps. It also makes for more effective treatment and allows the person more say in their future.
This article will outline the early signs of dementia so you know what to look for.
It’s typical for older people to forget names or appointments temporarily, but if they forget recently learned information, it could be a sign that something is wrong. If they ask the same questions repeatedly or increasingly need to refer to memory aids for things they used to handle independently, they may require a cognitive exam.
Difficulty with Planning and Problem-Solving
People with early dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and carry out plans. They may have difficulty concentrating and making decisions. This can result in them taking a long time to do things.
Challenges Completing Familiar Tasks
If a loved one is experiencing early dementia, they may face challenges completing daily tasks. For example, they may have trouble driving to a familiar location or handling household responsibilities.
Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time is a common sign of dementia. The person may also have trouble remembering things that happened. They may forget where they are and how they got there.
Difficulty Understanding Visual and Spatial Relations
Some people with dementia may have vision issues that lead to difficulty with balance. They may also have trouble judging distance and color contrast. This can be especially problematic when they are driving.
New Problems with Speaking and Writing
Dementia may cause issues with speaking and writing. A person that’s affected may have difficulty joining or following a conversation. They may repeat themselves often or struggle to find the right words.
Misplacing and Losing Things
Cognitive issues may cause a person to put things in unusual places and be unable to find them later. They may accuse others of hiding or stealing something, especially as the disease progresses.
Lack of Self-Care
It’s common for people with dementia to forget about personal care and hygiene. They may neglect basic activities such as bathing and changing their clothes.
Difficulty with Finances
People with dementia will have difficulty with decision-making, which can be a genuine concern with financial issues. A 2020 study revealed that those with cognitive decline were more likely to have missed bill payments up to six years before diagnosis. They were likelier to have low credit ratings up to two years before diagnosis.
Withdrawal from Work and Social Activities
A person with dementia may have difficulty holding up their end of a conversation. This may cause them to withdraw from social activities. They may also stop partaking in their favorite hobbies.
Changes in Mood and Personality
Dementia may cause a person to experience mood and personality changes. They may become confused, depressed, paranoid, agitated, or fearful. This is especially likely to occur when they are outside of their comfort zone.
How Ashe Homecare Can Help
Caring for a loved one with dementia isn’t easy. You may consider getting in a home care aid for assistance when you see early signs. Ashe Homecare ticks off all the boxes if you are looking for a trustworthy provider.
Ashe provides various home care services and offers a special service for patients with dementia. It focuses on calming agitation and confusion that often occurs as dementia occurs. It can be as little as a few hours a day, or it can be round-the-clock care.
The services we offer include the following:
- Helping with self-care, personal, and household tasks
- Wandering prevention
- Transportation to and from medical appointments and other outings
- Health monitoring and reporting
- Companion care
- Medication and healthcare maintenance
- Walking and transferring assistance
- Respite care which gives caregivers a break
- Incontinence care
Our services take the stress off caregivers’ shoulders. They allow people to grow old in the comfort of their own homes, so they feel less agitated. They help your loved one enjoy their senior years with dignity and companionship.
If you notice early signs of dementia in your loved one, call Ashe first. We will work with you to find a plan best suited to the needs of everyone involved. We will find an affordable solution that greatly improves the quality of life.