Dementia is one of the most devastating conditions that affect senior citizens. The loss of memory and cognitive functions leads to emotional distress and increased care expenses, made even worse by the fact that there is no known cure for dementia diseases, including the two leading diseases that cause dementia, Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia. There are treatments that can slow the effects and help make life more manageable, but the diseases must be detected early in order for the treatments to have any kind of effect. Here are three warning signs to look out for in your elderly loved ones who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s:
Memory loss is the most well-known sign of dementia and is perhaps the most devastating to families. The lack of recognition of family members usually occurs towards the end stages of the disease, while a milder form of memory loss can serve as a key warning sign that there is something wrong. If you notice your loved one often forgets where they placed their keys or phone, or if they have difficulty remembering names or start repeating themselves, you may want to consult with a doctor about the possibility of early-stage dementia.
Confusion usually goes along with memory loss since seniors with dementia often become confused or agitated if they cannot remember a family member’s name or other details they used to know. Constant repetition accompanies confusion and memory loss, as seniors suffering from dementia often repeat things they’ve said just minutes after they’ve already said them. Seniors confused with dementia may also put items such as keys or a purse in places where they don’t belong, like the refrigerator or the oven, and then forget they put them there.
Personality and Mood Shifts
Dementia can have a pronounced impact on a senior’s mood, manifesting either in depression or drastic personality shifts. Dementia is a cognitive impairment which affects one’s judgment, meaning it can cause a senior to act very differently than they have in the past. Monitoring mood and personality for shifts and changes is a good exercise if you suspect an elderly loved one to have dementia.
If you’d like more information about the warning stages of dementia, or if your loved one is suffering from dementia and you’d like to discuss financial and care plan options, please contact our office at 877-653-3450 to schedule an initial complimentary consultation.