If you are looking after an elderly loved one, or even concerned about your own memory as you age, then it is important to know what some of the early signs of age-related conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are.
Here are some of the first symptoms that tend to present themselves:
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Everybody has those moments where they forget why they went in a room, even young people. However, when someone often forgets what they are doing or why, or has trouble remembering the time of day or day of the week, this can be a warning sign. If a loved one also struggles to remember things they always remembered easily in the past like names of people they know well, this is also a cause for concern.
Difficulty Completing Tasks
If a person begins to struggle with simple tasks like writing a list, following the rules of a game they’ve played many times, or doing something commonplace on their computer like sending an email or placing an order, this can be a warning sign. A lack of concentration when trying to carry out these tasks is also a symptom that the memory isn’t working quite the same as before. If you have noticed these symptoms already, memory care can help, so try searching for memory care near me to see what facilities are available in your area.
Change in Personality
This is more likely something you will notice in other people than in yourself, but people with dementia or Alzheimer’s may begin to change in personality. They may become more withdrawn and less sociable as their confusion makes them lose confidence. They may become aggressive or defensive as they become frustrated by the symptoms. They may also have mood swings depending on how well they feel in terms of their memory on a given day.
Difficulty in Conversation
A person who is starting to show signs of dementia may have trouble holding a conversation. They may lose track of the topic and go off on tangents, they may repeat themselves, or they may forget what you have already said and ask questions that have already been answered. They may also have new vocabulary issues, forgetting the words for common items and describing them instead, or referring to everyday items like a clock as a ‘thingamajig’ or similar. You may notice that this only happens some of the time as in the early stages, people tend to have good and bad days, but it is a good sign that beginning some kind of memory care could be beneficial.
Caring For A Loved One With Dementia
A loved one’s dementia or Alzheimer’s can pose significant family routine changes. Because of progressive forgetfulness episodes, someone must always stay with the patient. Otherwise, there are huge safety and health risks involved. Your loved one might wander in the streets, trip, slip, or fall because of disorientation.
Your loved one’s comfort, mobility, and safety are essential considerations. Install bed railings, stair guards, and mobility devices to ensure safe movements. Ensure the floor isn’t slippery and the patient’s room has adequate lighting, including the bathroom and other commonly visited areas in the home.
Caregivers must have an enormous amount of patience and understanding. Caring for patients with degenerative diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, can be tedious. So, make sure you equip yourself with the right knowledge about such conditions so you can offer the best care possible.
Reassure your loved one that you’re always there for them. Eliminate stress sources, including conversation topics that might trigger anxiety and anger. You might also need labels on rooms, products, and objects. Hang a calendar and place up-to-date newspapers regularly to reduce the patient’s confusion and disorientation. You may learn more here about how to care for a loved one with dementia.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s differ a lot in each person in terms of how quickly they progress and the specific symptoms a person displays early on in the condition. However, if you are noticing these things, it is a good time to start seeking some professional assistance. In more advanced cases, it can be a good idea to consider an assisted living environment that also offers memory care.