Dementia is often associated with memory loss, but not everyone who experiences lapses in memory can be diagnosed with dementia. To say that a person has dementia, he or she must exhibit impairments in two or more of these areas:
To be more specific, here are the 10 early signs of dementia you should watch out for:
1. Short-term memory loss. The changes to people’s ability to store short-term memory can be very subtle for people who are developing dementia. Examples of short-term memory loss: forgetting where they just put things like keys or glasses, forgetting why they entered a room, forgetting what they’re about to do.
2. Loss for words. People developing dementia may also have difficulty in verbal communication. They may be explaining something and suddenly break off, not knowing or remembering the right words with which to express themselves.
3. Mood changes. They may also feel sudden mood changes and personality changes. For example, they may be shy but would then suddenly be outgoing, or vice versa.
4. Apathy or listlessness. They may lose interest in hobbies or activities that they used to be passionate about. They may appear unmotivated and be emotionally dull or jaded.
5. Difficulty completing regular tasks. They may start having a hard time completing more complex tasks, until the time comes that even the familiar, regular tasks they do everyday can be a big challenge to accomplish.
6. Becoming confused. They may forget the date or time, forget the name of the person they’re talking to, or just appear to be scatter brained even if they didn’t use to be like that before.
7. Difficulty following stories or conversations. This is a classic symptoms of the early stages of dementia. A person will not be able to follow along stories on TV or even conversations.
8. Decreasing sense of direction. They forget how to get to a place they’ve been to many times before. They may also have a hard time following directions and instructions.
9. Repetition. Another common sign, repeating things, tasks, questions or observations can also show dementia.
10. Inability to adapt. Those who have dementia will find it hard to adapt to changes in their routines or in their lives in general.