One misconception about dementia is that it is a single disease. This is not true because it is actually a collection of symptoms resulting from brain damage caused by different diseases. Some of these diseases include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Dementia varies depending on the part of the brain that is damaged and from person to person. When you are concerned for someone else, it is important to know the symptoms of dementia so someone you love can get the help they need as early as possible.
Everyone experiences a decline in their memory as they get older. You may forget an appointment, someone’s name, or even their birthday, and that is okay. In most cases, you will remember these details later. In people with dementia, there is extensive memory loss coupled with the inability to remember details later. This may be things about one’s life or learned information. In extreme cases, some people can forget information they learned a little while ago.
Once memory loss starts affecting day-to-day living and activities, it is time to see a healthcare professional to find out if a loved one has dementia.
Everyone forgets the word they want to use from time to time. A person living with dementia, however, might have difficulty remembering even the simplest words. They may also substitute words as they speak with words that do not make sense in the context of what they are talking about. When this happens a lot, your loved one may have dementia. Forgetting simple words is a lot more common than substitution, but in both cases, they need to see a doctor.
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
People with dementia will often have issues performing familiar tasks. There are things they have been doing their whole lives such as preparing a meal or playing a particular game.
Mood and Behavioral Changes
Dementia can be a very frustrating condition, especially for those who have not yet been diagnosed. They start wondering why their bodies are changing and why they are unable to do things they found easy in the past. This leads to frustration which translates into mood and behavioral changes. The damage to the brain can also change one’s personality so you may find that someone who was calm and reserved become angry and violent all of a sudden and without reason.
The first step is seeing a doctor to get diagnosed. In some cases, they may find that these symptoms are caused by other diseases or a collection of conditions. However, the most likely diagnosis is dementia.
Once diagnosed, it is important to think about whether your loved one will remain at home or needs some assistance. They will likely need assistance in the future as the condition progresses, so start thinking about assisted living facilities that provide memory care services. Look into facilities like Parc Provence which has qualified staff standing by to provide the memory care services a loved one needs.
Dementia is a progressive disease, and it is a very frustrating one for those who have not been diagnosed. Once diagnosed, they need to get help, which they will need especially in the later stages of the condition’s progression.