Identifying Dementia: 10 Key Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Senior Couple enjoying Breakfast
Unraveling the nuances of dementia in loved ones can be challenging.

The early signs of dementia may be very subtle and hard to recognise. Here are ten symptoms to look out for.

Recent memory loss that affects daily life

It’s normal to forget meetings, names or telephone numbers occasionally and then remember them later. But a person suffering with early-stage dementia might have trouble remembering recent events

 Difficulty performing regular tasks

We all make a wrong turn occasionally while driving, however someone with dementia might have regular difficulty driving a familiar route.

Problems with language

Many people have trouble finding the right words, those with dementia might have difficulty following, or initiating a conversation.

Disorientation of time and place

It is normal to forget what day it is or where you are going. The early warning signs of a person with dementia may be them being confused about the time of day, and what is appropriate for that time.

Decreased or poor judgment

Making a bad decision once in a while is normal but making bad decisions more frequently and paying less attention to your physical appearance, may be a sign of dementia.

Problems with abstract thinking

It’s normal to have difficulty balancing a budget, organising a payment or juggling debt, however a person with dementia might completely forget what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.

Misplacing things

It’s common to misplace a wallet or the house keys, yet a person with dementia might repeatedly put things in inappropriate places.

Changes in mood and behaviour

Everyone becomes sad or moody from time to time, sadly dementia can cause sufferers to have rapid mood swings, from calm to tears to anger, for no apparent reason.

Changes in personality

People’s personalities can change a little with age. Dementia can exacerbate this further, sufferers might have problems in social situations they have previously been comfortable with.

Loss of initiative

Who doesn’t tire of housework, business activities or social obligations? We know we do from time to time. One warning sign of dementia can be no longer initiating things, events, plans etc. that were once enjoyed.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing several of these, you should see your GP for a complete consultation. 

Early indicators of dementia: 5 behaviour changes to look for after age 50


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