Mom is always losing her keys. Dad keeps forgetting when his Doctors appointments are. Everyone has moments of forgetfulness. But, when should you feel concerned your loved one is experiencing more than just your average mind lapses. Below are 5 warning signs of dementia your loved one, and it might be time to bring the topic to light.
Your Loved One has Trouble with Short Term Memory Recall
Often, short-term memory loss is one of the first signs of dementia. While we all forget little things, a person with dementia risks life threatening lapses in memory. Stoves left on, plastic in the oven, or the inability to find home can lead to unsafe incidents. Your loved one may struggle with communication. Sometimes people struggle to recall everyday words. If your loved one is becoming a little forgetful, don’t rush to conclusions. Forgetfulness happens, it is a concern when it affects your loved one’s safety or ability to care for herself.
Your Loved One Has Out of Character Anxiety
Dementia affects everyone differently. But, there are some commonalities people share. Changes in behavior such as aggression or increased confusion may happen toward the end of the day. This behavior is referred to as “sundowning” or “late-day confusion.” If you notice behavior changes in your loved one look for time patterns, and shifts in regular routines.
Your Loved One is Withdrawing
Your loved one has started to show signs of social withdrawal. They have lost interest in activities or hobbies they once loved. They are not engaging with the world around them and they are sleeping more. Dementia patients can show signs of withdrawal for many reasons. Depression, loss of verbal communication skills, confusion, and feelings of isolation can all play a factor in you loved one withdrawing. Sometimes people withdraw because location changes and gatherings feel overwhelming and difficult to keep up with.
Your Loved One is Asking the Same Question Repeatedly
Your loved one continually repeats or ask the question over and over again. Repetitive behaviors are common in dementia patients. They may repeat the same story, ask the same question, or even continually perform the same task. Short term memory loss is common in people with dementia, and may increase repetitive behaviors.
Rapid Weight Loss
A lack if interest or difficulty in eating is a good sign that something has changed with your loved one’s health. With dementia, rapid weight loss can happen as the illness progresses. Dementia related weightloss may have many factors. The mind does not read the cues the body tells it. Your loved one may feel depressed and no longer have an interest in eating. He may not remember to eat or when he ate last due to short term memory loss. There may be cognitive changes in how he recognizes food as appetizing.
Who to Call
Loved ones suffering from dementia can display many signs. If you are concerned that you loved one showing these five signs of dementia you should consult with her Doctor. While an occasional mental hiccup be normal, it is a good idea to speak with a medical professional if your loved one has several of these tendencies.
For more information on services available for helping take care of your loved one suffering from dementia please click here.