10 early signs of dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease: it is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or thinking abilities severe enough to reduce and have a great impact on a person’s ability to perform daily activities. There are many conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

  • Short term memory loss
    One of the first symptoms that indicate a cognitive problem is memory loss at an early stage. For instance, people may forget the name of the person, recent events, contact numbers, places or routes. This happens due to brain damage resulting from inflammation and other biological changes that hinder communication between brain cells. This can gradually become severe enough to disturb routine life.
  • Challenges in scheduling or solving problems
    Some people may notice changes in their ability to follow a plan and work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping a track of monthly bills or records. They also may have difficulties in concentrating and in completing any task.
  • Difficulty in expressing thoughts
    Another early indicator of dementia is having difficulty communicating ideas and thoughts. In simple terms, it means the person is having problems explaining things to others. There may be difficulties in verbal and written communication too. It will be very time consuming to have a conversation with someone suffering from dementia.
  • Lack of interest in social activities
    A person may start to isolate himself from hobbies, interests, social work, projects or sports. He may have trouble maintaining liaison with his favourite sports team. He may also avoid being social because of the changes experienced due to dementia.

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  • Getting puzzled often
    During the initial stage, a person may show signs of confusion. This can occur in regards to time or place, and even in names of the persons met recently. Dementia patients may get confused about the past, present and the future.
  • Misplacing things and inability to retrace steps
    A person suffering from dementia tend to misplace things very often and cannot recall where they have kept the car keys, mobile phone and books, every once in a while. They also lose the ability to retrace their steps. Sometimes they accuse others of stealing if they cannot find things.
  • Changes in personality and mood swings 
    The mood and personalities of people suffering from dementia can change. They can become confused, suspicious, anxious, depressed or fearful. They may be easily upset at home, at work, or any other places out of their comfort zone.
  • Decreased decision making or poor judgment
    Patients may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For instance, they may use poor judgment when dealing with clients, meetings, money lenders. They may end up in giving more amount of money than required. They also pay less attention in grooming themselves.
  • Vision problems
    Changes in vision may be seen. It can become harder to read words on the page, and they cannot judge the distance between the words. Sometimes they may even get confused with the colours, and this can affect driving.
  • Delusionary thoughts
    These thoughts are often experienced by dementia patients, where they see the things that don’t exist. A delusion is characterised by believing in false things such as people, events, details and memories. When suffering from hallucination, an individual can actually feel, hear, taste and smell things that don’t really exist.