1 in 3 people in the UK will develop dementia. Of that 66% of them are women. If the dementia symptoms are detected early enough. They can be controlled and the person can continue to enjoy a good quality of life. Keep an ‘early signs of dementia’ checklist close to hand. If you spot any of these symptoms, the person may benefit from a further assessment.
There are no definitive rules behind diagnosing dementia. There are common symptoms of the condition. It is good to be able to spot the dementia symptoms early on so your loved one receives the right support.
This observation list is not exclusive. However, it is a helpful list that you can go through to see if your loved one has any signs of dementia. So that they can have a further assessment.
Your loved one may display just one of these symptoms, or a combination of a few. The symptoms will depend on the area of the brain that is damaged. Alzheimer’s, vascular, and Lewy body dementia all come with differing indicators.
Observation List For Early Signs Of Dementia
1. Memory Loss
It is not uncommon for people to become forgetful as they age. We all sometimes lose our mobile phones or forget an appointment. However, if the person starts to forget where they live or what their name is. Or keeps on repeating questions. It is very often an early sign of dementia.
If the person is showing signs of confusion. They may confuse night with day. Lose track of time. Or show signs of confusion when they are away from home. They may also start talking about events that happened in the past more than normal. Often confusing events with one another.
3. Depression and Withdrawal
It is quite common for people to show signs of depression in the early stages of dementia. They might begin to lose interest in hobbies. They may also not want to go out as it makes them feel confused.
4. Personality Changes
Your loved one’s personality may begin to change. Mood swings are common. If a person who for example usually have a happy personality. They may start to become more emotional, irritated and show signs of frustration.
5. Language Difficulties
We all struggle to find the right words sometimes. If a person has dementia the language centre of the brain is affected. They may begin struggling with conversations. ‘Word soup’ is common, which is where the person comes out with a string of unrelated words.
6. Difficulty with Usual Tasks
Common tasks may become difficult to complete. They may struggle with dealing with money. Driving may become difficult as it becomes more difficult to judge distances. With dementia brain cells begin to die. Abstract skills and spatial skills thinking skills become affected.
7. Poor Judgement
It is important to keep a close eye on your loved one. If they start making poor judgements. Such as dressing inappropriately. They might begin to make inappropriate comments.
If any of these symptoms present themselves. You speak to your loved one’s doctor and organise a dementia assessment.
Impact Of Dementia On Carers
Looking after a loved one who suffers from dementia can be challenging. You may find that your loved one’s condition deteriorates quickly. Which means that your care plan may have to change. You may for example not be able to leave your loved one at home alone for long periods of time anymore. As they may forget to turn the cooker off for example.
If you need support West Midlands Home Care are happy to assist you. We offer day sits. Members of staff will sit with your loved one and tend to their need during the day. While family members who are caring for their loved ones can go out.
We also offer Night sits. Members of staff will tend to the service users needs throughout the night, ensuring they are safe.
These are the services we offer.
West Midlands Home Care are happy to discuss any concerns that you may have. You can also contact The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK or one of the many support organisations for advice.