When a loved one begins to exhibit some changes in their abilities and memories, it can be a scary thing. Many people have a tendency to jump straight into thinking their loved one may have a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but many of these changes are simple, age-related changes. How do you know when it’s something more, though? “Seniors with memory loss exhibit a wide range of scary signs,” says Dawn Joaquin, Community Relations Director at YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, a Memory Care community in Coconut Creek, Florida. “Although these changes may be difficult to decode, it’s important to do so in order to ensure your loved one doesn’t have a deeper issue. One of the best ways to do this is to become educated in the early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Knowing what these signs are can help you detect an issue early, and this can help to create a plan of care for your loved one, a plan for the future and the ability to slow the progression of memory loss.”
The Top 10 Early Warning Signs of Dementia
According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, there are a number of signs to watch for in the early detection of dementia. If you notice any of these signs, call your loved one’s doctor and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
- Disrupting memory loss. If your loved one is forgetting newly learned information, important tasks, dates and events or asks for the same information over and over, it’s likely a sign of dementia. Keep track of if your loved one’s note-writing increases or if they begin to rely on electronic devices to tell them things they forget.
- Issues solving problems, challenges in planning. Is your loved one having a hard time working with numbers, following recipes or keeping up with bills? This could show in how long it takes them to do things. Are they concentrating harder than before? This could be a sign.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks. According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, performing familiar tasks can become a problem for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Driving, budgeting or even remembering the rules of a favorite game can become hard, according to the article.
- Confusion with time or place. Does your loved one forget the date, what season it is or what time they usually do certain things? It’s common to get a little confused about what day of the week it is, but if your loved one doesn’t remember a short time later, it can signify a bigger problem.
- Vision problems. According to the article, vision issues can sometimes come hand in hand with Alzheimer’s disease. Take a note of if your loved one has difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast.
- Issues speaking or writing. Does your loved one stop in the middle of conversations? Do they forget the names of commonly used items? Do you notice they repeat themselves? Make sure to tell your loved one’s doctor about this and keep a note of how often this occurs.
- Misplacing items. If your loved one is constantly forgetting where things are, loses items and can’t retrace their steps to find them, they may have memory loss. If they begin to accuse you or others of stealing, it’s important to call the doctor right away.
- Poor judgment. Those with dementia tend to make poor decisions, especially when dealing with money. They are easily taken advantage of by scammers, so it’s crucial to watch and monitor their bank accounts. If their health begins to decline, or if they lose or gain weight rapidly, you may also want to keep a good eye on their hygiene.
- Your loved one’s new symptoms could cause them to have trouble doing the things they love. This can increase their likelihood of depression and cause them to withdraw from things they love and avoid social situations.
- Changes in personality. Those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can easily become confused, suspicious, depressed or anxious. This requires a lot of patience and understanding. Try to be there for your loved one, speak calmly and be reassuring.
For more information about the benefits of early detection of dementia or to discuss your loved one’s future or find support, contact us. We would be happy to provide you with expert advice, support and assistance. Call us today at 954-228-6252.
Inspiring Memory Care Designed for You. Defined by You.
YourLife™ of Coconut Creek was created to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. We focus all our energy, attention and resources to creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality, while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families. Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We understand that each resident is an individual that has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities, so we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence. Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection. With YourStory, our signature programming, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and holistic health and wellness programming, outings and an array of other special events to personal care, assistance and therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more! Call us at 954-228-6252 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.