Dementia does not affect only those who suffer from it but also the other people around them. The one who suffers does not suffer alone.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this terrifying disease. However, an early detection of this disease can truly make a difference in slowing down its progression.
What is dementia?
Dementia is not in itself a disease; rather, it is the name given to categorize a number of mental disorders they include:
– Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
– Dementia with Lewy Bodies
– Frontotemporal Dementia
– Huntington’s Disease
– Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
– Parkinson’s Disease
– Vascular Dementia
– Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
All in all there are over 100 different types of dementia. All types of dementia are progressive which means that the brain becomes more and more damaged with the passage of time. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for in excess of 50% of all types of the disease. It is estimated that over 5 million people are suffering from some form of dementia right here in the US alone, right now!
Warning Sign #1: Short Term Memory Problems
Most people experience such problems from time to time but if you notice you are forgetting more often than usual, this could be a leading sign of dementia.
People who face short-term memory problems can recall what happened many years ago but are not able to recall what they did the previous day.
Warning Sign #2: Difficulty Choosing Words
The inability to recall words is an important sign of dementia.
It happens when the speaker looks for a word but he is not able to find it. It doesn’t have to be some specific word but some that is used many times a day.
This symptom indicates problems with the language centers in the brain that will cause less frequent and more frustrated conversations.
Warning Sign #3: Mood Swings
A sudden shift in mood is common in early stages of dementia.
Many times, dementia patients will go through periods of depression, but these aren’t the only mood changes.
The swings can be anything, but they’ll be sudden and unexpected, and they may not even relate to what’s going on in the moment at all.
Warning Sign #4: Feeling Lethargic
People who are in the early stages of developing dementia may also seem to be somewhat lethargic. It is quite common for victims to lose interest in doing anything, including things that they have enjoyed doing in the past, such as, for example, a favorite hobby. They may also be very reticent about going out, will often show signs of losing interest in being with friends or family. It often appears as if they are emotionally bereft.
Warning Sign #5: Problems With Concentration
In the early stages of dementia some people find difficulty in either planning to do things, or trying to follow a plan that they’ve previously conceived. Others experience problems when trying to work, or deal with numbers. It’s part of an overall decline in the ability to be able to concentrate on anything.
Warning Sign #6: Finding Everyday Chores Suddenly Difficult
Another of the early symptoms of dementia is when victims suddenly find it difficult to carry out ordinary, everyday tasks that they have been doing previously for many years almost without thinking. Things like being able to drive to a once familiar location can prove challenging, as can trying to remember the rules of a simple game they have often played before.
Warning Sign #7: Trouble Understanding Time
People with dementia are not able to measure time, so hours, days even years are all the same for them. The whole passage of time stops for them are they are not able to distinguish it.
So, if you notice that some person doesn’t distinguish the aspects of time, their understanding of time has been altered.
Warning Sign #8: Having Trouble Remembering Where You Are
Just like the problem with the aspect of time, the aspect of place can be a real challenge.
So, people with dementia find it hard to recognize the place, even though it may be a familiar one nor they remember how they got there.
Warning Sign #9: Difficulty Writing
Just like it becomes difficult to choose words while speaking, choosing words while writing also becomes affected by dementia.
It can also be hard for them to concentrate long enough to put together a complete sentence, so doing something like writing a card or sending an email can become a drawn-out, frustrating task.
Warning Sign #10: Repeating
A major sign of dementia to watch for in someone is repetition.
This can be telling you something twice, asking the same question, or repeating a task they’ve already completed.
Warning Sign #11: Sudden Fear Of Change
Many people do not like change, but with people who are suffering the onset of dementia, the realization can be very frightening; especially certain aspects of their experiences, like getting lost, or not remembering why they’re in a certain place. In order to try and prevent this, they will not want to try, or do, anything new.
Warning Sign #12: Trouble Following Storylines
People with dementia find it hard to follow something in a series of steps or developments such as some book or a movie. It’s dementia that lowers the concentration and focus, thus making the steps hard to follow.
What You Should Do If You Notice Some of These Signs?
Sadly, there is no cure for dementia up to now.
However, the progress of the disease can be prevented by an early diagnosis of the disease and a suitable treatment.
The right support, can manage the terrible effects of dementia.