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What are the signs of dementia?

common signs of dementia

There are both psychological and physical symptoms of dementia, which is not a single disease but rather a group of symptoms that affect thinking, memory, reasoning as cognitive functions as well as those which collectively impair a person’s ability to function properly and carry out daily activities. The severity of dementia will differ from person to person.

However, it requires more understanding, compassion and empathy because at the most severe stages, the person with dementia will require vast levels of support and will depend on others for their basic daily activities. To find out more about the causes and early symptoms of dementia as well as how you can help a loved one, take a look below.

What causes dementia?

A lot of research has been and continues to be done on the common causes of dementia.

It is believed that this collection of symptoms occurs when there are changes in certain regions of the brain in which neurons and their connections are impaired or stop working as they should altogether.

It’s also possible that dementia can be genetic. It is not yet clear whether anything can prevent this ailment. But it is possible to reduce risk factors by leading a healthy lifestyle.

What is typically the most obvious early symptom of dementia?

Some of the most common early symptoms of dementia are both physiological and psychological.

On the physiological side, we have patients who struggle to carry out normal daily tasks, changes in their gait, poor orientation, visual-perceptual difficulties (such as judging distance) and weak limbs, amongst others.

Psychological symptoms may include: loss of memory and difficulty in concentrating, being unable to follow conversations or find the right words to express themselves (language and communication), confusion about time and place, erratic mood and emotional changes, difficulty with planning and foresight, etc.

What are signs of dementia?

If you are concerned about your loved one having dementia, it’s important to look out for early signs of dementia. These may include but are not limited to: memory loss, poor judgement and confusion; difficulty in speaking or reading and writing; struggling with planning and organising or thinking about the long-term or the future; wandering and getting lost in familiar surroundings; as well as difficulty in managing money responsibly.

Other signs of dementia include: asking questions repetitively; using an unusual vocabulary to describe familiar objects; completing normal daily tasks in more time than usual; experiencing a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed; hallucinations, delusions or paranoia; impulsive behaviour; being inconsiderate of others’ feelings; loss of balance, movement and coordination problems; and difficulty in handling complex tasks, amongst others.

Psychological changes include changes in one’s personality, experiencing issues such as depression and anxiety as well as getting agitated quite quickly.

How to care for a dementia patient at home?

Caring for a dementia patient at home is best left to a professional carer who can either visit your loved one frequently or be a live-in carer who remains at their home on a 24/7 basis looking after all their needs.

Such a carer will be sure to reduce your loved one’s frustrations at their inability to perform daily tasks. This can be done through more appropriate scheduling, exercising patience, providing easy-to-make choices for greater levels of autonomy, giving simple instructions, limiting napping and reducing distractions.

It’s also vital to create a safe living environment as if you have a home with stairs, we may take them for granted. However, a person with dementia may struggle to judge distances and could slip and fall. This can create greater levels of risks and injury.

Although it may sound like common sense, it’s crucial to prevent falls, use locks where necessary, check water temperatures, take fire safety precautions and most importantly – focus on individualised care.

This is because every person with dementia will experience the ailment differently and a tailored and personalised approach is extremely important. A professional carer will be able to exercise just the right levels of patience and flexibility to help you and your loved one navigate the complexities of their condition.

Get in touch with a professional dementia care specialist today!

At Walfinch, one of our specialised services is dementia care at home – whether live-in care or care on a frequent basis such as a few hours a day. The ability to create routines and to ensure that the same carer visits and cares for your loved one will create great levels of stability and will contribute to heightened levels of comfort and security.

Our carers are thoroughly trained and they have extensive experience in dealing with and caring for dementia patients. They are carers in the true sense of the word and are more than ready and happy to lend you a helping hand to ensure that your loved one is in great hands.

Walfinch care services in your area:

Look out for new branches of Walfinch opening soon, offering quality home care near you.