How to Spot Signs of Early Dementia

By  //  May 6, 2023

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Dementia is a term that describes a group of diseases that cause deterioration in mental, mobility, and cognitive functions and memory loss.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), over 55 million people across the world live with some form of dementia. Symptoms can vary depending on the underlying cause, but there are a few common symptoms you can look out for. Here is a short guide to help you spot signs of early dementia.

  • Changes in Short-Term Memory

A change in short-term memory is a well-known symptom of dementia. Someone with this disease might be able to recall a long-winded anecdote from many years ago. However, they may find themselves misplacing personal belongings often. People with dementia may not remember when they had their last meal, what they ate earlier in the day, their regular daily schedule, and the reason why they decided to enter a particular room.

  • Difficulty with Communicating Thoughts

An early sign of dementia is difficulty finding the right words to communicate one’s thoughts. People living with dementia may find it difficult to organize their thoughts and may struggle to remember personal information that was once easy to remember, such as their own mobile number. It can be difficult conversing with someone who has dementia as they might stop speaking in the middle of a sentence, or it may take them longer to express themselves. It can be emotional when you start noticing early signs of dementia in a loved one or in yourself. However, if you do recognize the symptoms, you can seek professional help and take steps to reduce the rate of progression.

  • Change in Sense of Humor

Someone who is living with dementia may experience changes in their sense of humor. They may find that they cannot follow jokes like before and are less able to recognize when someone is being sarcastic. The reasoning behind this change in behavior could be down to their difficulty in following a conversation or a storyline. This change in response to social cues is subtle and can be difficult to recognize in people with early dementia.

  • Shift in Personality

As mentioned above, someone with dementia might experience a change in their sense of humor and may find it difficult to detect sarcasm. In addition, it is common to experience a shift in personality in other ways. For instance, if you have dementia, you may find that you are more anxious in social situations and are more highly strung than normal when there is a change to your schedule.

You may develop feelings of apathy and no longer care about things you were once passionate about, and you may experience feelings of depression. It is important to speak to a doctor and treat depression as soon as the symptoms are recognized.

  • Repetitive Actions

Doing things repetitively is a sign of early dementia due to changes in general behavior and memory loss. A person with dementia might find themselves doing everyday activities repeatedly, such as showering or brushing their teeth.