Learn to spot the early signs of dementia

09 July

What is dementia?

Dementia is a set of symptoms caused by damage to the brain, usually by diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  These symptoms are often characterised by memory loss, difficulties thinking and problems with communication.

What are the early signs of dementia?

Each person’s journey with dementia is unique and as such, the early signs of dementia will be different for everyone.

However, when it comes to dementia it’s important to remember that this is more than the usual forgetfulness that comes with old age.  Early signs of dementia can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating (including getting words mixed-up)
  • Confusion in unfamiliar environments
  • Problems with planning and organising
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty with more complex tasks
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty reasoning

The degree to which dementia progresses is also unique to the individual.  However the way others respond to the person and the level of support they have around them can notably affect their ability to live with the illness.

Click here to find out what causes dementia

How is dementia diagnosed?

Getting a proper diagnosis for dementia is crucial.  So if you suspect that you or your loved one is experiencing the early signs of dementia it’s always better to seek a diagnosis sooner rather than later.  This will allow you to come to terms with the illness early on and plan ahead.

If you’ve been experiencing the early signs of dementia your first port of call should be a visit to your local GP.  They will be able to make an initial assessment of your symptoms and if necessary refer you to a specialist doctor who will be able to make a more definitive diagnosis.