How to Spot Signs of Dementia in a Loved One
August 8, 2023
It is very difficult to watch a loved one go through changes as they age, and it can be challenging to know when to seek help. As people get older, the risk of developing dementia increases. Dementia can be tricky to diagnose, as it shares some symptoms with normal ageing. However, there are some warning signs to look out for.
Early intervention can help slow down the progression of the disease, making it essential to be aware of these signs. It’s important to remember that the following patterns can prove distressing and alarming for your loved one, so it’s crucial to approach them with compassion and understanding.
- Persistent Change in Behaviour: If you notice a persistent change in your loved one’s behaviour, it could be a sign of dementia. They may seem more forgetful, confused, or struggle to complete familiar tasks.
- Memory Loss: Memory loss is one of the most common signs of dementia. Your loved one may forget recent events, names, and faces. They may also struggle to find the right words to express themselves.
- Difficulty in Learning New Things: Dementia can make it challenging for your loved one to learn new routines, skills, or adapt to changes in their environment.
- Financial Management: Dementia can affect a person’s ability to manage their finances. Your loved one may forget to pay bills, make inappropriate purchases, or struggle to manage their bank account.
- Losing Track of Time: Your loved one may forget what day it is or what time it is. They may also forget appointments or important events. It can be helpful to create a daily schedule for your loved one to help them stay on track.
- Loss of Interest in Activities: Dementia can cause a person to lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. Your loved one may stop participating in hobbies or social events they used to enjoy. They may also withdraw from social interactions and become more isolated.
- Repeating Themselves: Your loved one may tell the same stories or ask the same questions over and over again.
If you think you have spotted signs of dementia in a loved one, there are several proactive steps you can take. Firstly, you can document and share these patterns with a doctor. Keeping a record and tracking signs can help to provide a clearer picture of the progression of the disease.
It is important to find professional help after noticing early symptoms of dementia. Find the right doctor who specialises in dementia care and communicate your observations in detail. Preparing for a diagnosis can involve reviewing their medical history, physical or mental exams, lab tests, and brain imaging. It’s important to continue to observe and track the symptoms to help you and the medical professionals determine the best care and treatment for your loved one.
As difficult as it may be to accept, planning for the future is essential. Seeking professional residential care can be a challenging conversation, but it’s important to approach it with kindness and empathy. Your loved one may feel scared or vulnerable, so it’s essential that they recognise that you have their best interests at heart.
Learn more about the compassionate and comprehensive care we offer to individuals living with dementia at Simblija Care Home. Our team is here to support you and your loved one through this challenging time, and we are committed to providing the highest quality care possible.