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What are the early signs of dementia?

According to the World Health Organization, someone is diagnosed with dementia roughly every three seconds.

That can be an alarming fact to think about, especially if you have aging parents or loved ones, or a family history of dementia. However, being on the lookout for the symptoms of dementia can help you ensure your loved ones get the care they need as soon as possible. So, here is an overview of some of the common symptoms and signs your loved one might have dementia.

Memory loss

Forgetfulness or memory loss is the most common symptom connected to dementia. After all, it is also the primary effect of the disease. However, it is not always immediately evident in the early stages of dementia. Earlier on, this symptom often manifests when your loved ones:

  • Repeat questions;
  • Repeat tasks they have already done;
  • Forget where they are, and how they got there; and
  • Get lost in familiar places.

This is not the common forgetfulness where you remember something you lost or what you were thinking about instantly. It is important to remember that for individuals with dementia, they will have significant trouble remembering again. And forgetting these issues often causes them great distress and confusion.

Difficulty completing regular or familiar tasks

In the early stages of dementia, your loved ones might also find things they do every day suddenly challenging. These tasks often include:

  • Their basic work duties
  • Shopping or making a grocery list
  • Communicating with others
  • Cooking or baking
  • Personal care tasks

Of course, as individuals age, they might need some additional help with these tasks. But dementia is not normal aging. When these tasks become frustratingly difficult and interrupt your loved one's daily life, then it might be a sign of dementia.

Trouble with motor skills and coordination

Most people only look out for mental symptoms when it comes to dementia, but there are often physical symptoms as well. These physical symptoms often involve individuals forgetting actions with mind-body connections or muscle memories, such as tying their shoes.

Changes in personality

The frustration from all of these symptoms combined often results in a significant change in your loved one's personality. It is common for individuals to develop severe anxiety, uncharacteristic anger or even paranoia.

If you witness these symptoms in your loved one, it might be time to arrange a visit to their physician.

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