A quick look at some of the main signs of dementia to look out for

02 January

Dementia is something that affects everyone differently. Just as each of us is unique as a person, when it comes to dementia symptoms these can manifest differently in each individual, occurring in different combinations and at different times with varying severity.

This is why it’s so important to be aware of the fundamental signs of dementia – those that are broadly similar, as well as those that are more specific, enabling you to take action as soon as issues begin to affect daily living, and before there is a serious concern for safety. Here are some of the main signs to look out for:

Memory loss is without a doubt the most common early symptom of dementia. We all suffer this to a certain extent but if you’re finding yourself forgetting not just names or places but also entire contexts and conversations – to the point where it is making life confusing and difficult – then it might be time to seek help.

Disorientation is another common symptom of dementia, most often relating to dates, times and places. Although many of us will find we occasionally forget what day of the week it is or why we walked into a room, for someone with dementia thiscould go as far as confusing night and day or not knowing how you got somewhere.

Issues with familiar tasks can be serious where dementia is in the picture and so this is an obvious symptom to spot. This could affect something as familiar as making a meal, cleaning a home or even making a cup of tea – tasks that we have been carrying out for years suddenly become difficult because we can’t remember how to do them.

Losing things – both physically and mentally – is another sign of dementia. This could be something like repeatedly losing the thread of a conversation, not being able to find words or putting items in unusual places (for example, shoes in the fridge).

These are some of the main signs of dementia – others may include mood swings and depression, poor judgment or an increase in anxiety. Although these symptoms could also be attributed to life events and situations, it’s always worth getting them checked out.

There are also many ways in which you can help keep your mind healthy too:

  • Mental stimulation – don’t just sit in front of the TV!
  • Exercise – lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, boosts cell development and increases connections between brain cells.
  • Diet – a healthy diet is good for body and brain, especially B and D vitamins.
  • Cut down on alcohol – excessive drinking is a big risk factor for dementia.

 

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