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6 Early Signs of Dementia in the Elderly

By , 9:00 am on

Dementia is a neurodegenerative condition that gradually reduces mental functioning. The later stages of dementia are noticeable, but this condition can go undiagnosed for years. In the earlier stages of dementia, symptoms are mild and easy to miss. When caring for a senior loved one, keep an eye out for the following warning signs of dementia.

1. Personality Changes

Since dementia impacts various parts of the brain, it can cause several changes in personality. A cheerful senior might become depressed and cynical, while a regularly shy senior might become talkative. Sudden and unusual personality changes may be a sign of dementia.

Dementia is a serious health issue that affects a senior’s health, wellbeing, and ability to perform everyday activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Fort Worth, Texas, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Completely Forgetting Things

It is fairly normal for older adults to forget things occasionally, but they will eventually remember forgotten appointments or misplaced belongings. Even in its earliest stages, dementia causes seniors to forget things and not remember them until reminded. At first, seniors might forget to do simple tasks such as watering a plant, but it will eventually progress to more important things.

3. Making Inappropriate Decisions

An early sign of dementia is poor judgment, which might include trusting strangers, wearing very little clothing in cold weather, or making unnecessary purchases. Though some seniors might have always had difficulty with judgment, you should be concerned if a fairly logical and reasonable senior loved one suddenly starts making bad decisions.

4. Difficulty with Multi-Step Tasks

Older adults in the early stages of dementia may not be able to process and retain information, making it difficult to follow instructions and complete basic tasks. For example, seniors may face difficulty when balancing a budget or following a recipe.

As dementia progresses, it may become increasingly difficult to manage simple household chores. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Fort Worth seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

5. Improper Language Usage

Seniors with dementia could face difficulty accessing their language skills, and they may forget words or meanings of words. During conversations, seniors may pause frequently to remember words, substitute the wrong word for another word without noticing, or create strange phrases such as calling a clock a “wall watch.”

6. Disorientation and Confusion

You may need to speak to the doctor about dementia concerns if you notice your loved one expressing momentary lapses of focus. Seniors might face difficulty paying attention to something for a long time or suddenly get disoriented and briefly forget where they are. Disorientation and confusion typically start out as minor issues before gradually getting worse.

If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Find out how a Fort Worth, TX, caregiver can help your senior loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our professional respite and live-in caregivers are trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care, and they can also assist seniors with basic daily tasks like exercise, cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping. To learn about our high-quality at-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at (817) 720-5556 today.