Dementia is a disorder that affects millions of people all over the world every day. It doesn’t just impact the lives of the patients who suffer from it, but also their family members. It can be difficult to know the right steps to take, and perhaps most importantly, it can be confusing to know whether your loved one has dementia at all.
Many of us can find ourselves wondering if our older loved ones are merely experiencing a senior moment, or if it’s something much more serious.
It’s important to know that early detection is an important part of managing dementia. The earlier we can detect that dementia is at play, the more solutions we can come up with, and the better treatment we can provide.
For some of us, this may mean moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, while for others, it may mean keeping a close eye on them. Before you decide the right steps for you and your family, it’s important to determine whether the disease is actually present. Here are some of the most telltale signs that your loved one may be developing dementia.
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Memory Loss Is Consistent
Everyone experiences occasional forgetfulness, regardless of age. However, if you notice that your loved one is forgetting things on a daily basis and experiencing consequences that affect them significantly, like not paying bills, then this is a sign that action needs to be taken.
Frequent memory lapses can be more than just inconvenient; they can be downright dangerous. If your loved one forgets to take their medication, for example, the consequences could be fatal.
Inability to Make Decisions
People with dementia often experience extreme difficulty making decisions or being faced with solving a problem. Any time something becomes too complex for their brains to handle, they may start to become irritable or even panic. If you start to notice that your loved one is struggling to use problem-solving skills or make a choice, then this is a red flag that should not be ignored.
In more advanced cases of dementia, patients may find themselves having difficulty communicating. They may struggle to find the right phrase or word or may have trouble following the conversation at all. If you start to notice that communication is becoming a struggle for your loved one, it may be time to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.
A common occurrence in people suffering from dementia is that they experience extreme mood swings. They may become easily upset by situations and unreasonably overwhelmed. In some extreme cases, they may even become paranoid because they have no idea what’s happening around them.
If you start to notice that your older loved one’s behavior has made a dramatic change, then you should contact your doctor immediately for an assessment.