Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (256) 716-9940

How to Tell If an Older Loved One Is Developing Dementia

By , 9:00 am on

In its early stages, dementia can be difficult to recognize. Many of the first symptoms of dementia are hard to distinguish from the symptoms of ordinary aging. Here are a few warning signs of dementia that family caregivers should watch for. 

Disruptive Memory Loss

Memory loss is often the first sign of dementia. While most seniors experience mild memory loss, those with dementia experience disruptive memory loss. Standard age-related memory loss rarely has a tangible impact. A senior without dementia may forget the name of a new acquaintance, only to remember it several hours later. A senior with dementia, on the other hand, may start to lose track of dates, events, and names. He or she may forget new information shortly after learning it. Eventually, this short-term memory loss will progress, and the senior may repeat questions. Dementia-related memory loss has a major impact on the senior’s life, habits, and independence. As memory loss progresses, seniors with dementia may have to rely on memory aids or caregivers to help them get through each day. 

If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, trust in the Huntsville dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance to help him or her manage the condition while continuing to live at home. In addition to high-quality dementia care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care.

Issues with Spatial Orientation

Vision issues are a common symptom in the early stages of dementia. Seniors may face challenges gauging distances, colors, and contrast, and they may also find reading difficult. These vision issues, combined with other symptoms of dementia, cause a general sense of disorientation. Seniors may have difficulty navigating to familiar locations or comprehend written directions. Pay close attention to your loved one’s driving abilities. If they suddenly deteriorate, it may be a sign of dementia. 

Difficulty with Communication

When seniors start to develop dementia, the ability to communicate often decreases. They may have a difficult time communicating their thoughts or participating in conversations, and their vocabulary might decrease as well. People with dementia often call objects by the wrong name. Verbal repetition is also a hallmark of the condition. 

Inability to Perform Familiar Tasks

People in the early stages of dementia often have a difficult time completing everyday tasks. They might not be able to complete relatively complex tasks like balancing their checkbook or driving to a new location.

If your senior loved one needs help accomplishing everyday tasks, he or she can benefit from professional home care. Families looking to hire a Huntsville caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.

Alterations in Mood

When seniors are in the early stages of dementia, they may exhibit changes in mood. These changes aren’t universal, as dementia impacts everyone differently. Oftentimes, seniors become withdrawn or depressed. They may lose interest in their favorite activities and exhibit few emotions. Because dementia affects judgment, some seniors become more outgoing in the early stages of the condition. If you notice strange changes in your loved one’s mood or personality, it may be a sign of dementia.

Dementia is a serious mental health condition that can impact a senior’s overall quality of life. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Huntsville, AL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our comprehensive, high-quality elderly care plans, give us a call at (256) 716-9940 today.