Dementia is a disease that affects so many people around the country. Around one million people are living with it, while it affects many more who have to care for those people that are suffering.
With dementia levels expected to increase over the next decade, in line with an ageing population, spotting the signs of a loved one developing the condition is key.
Valorum Care Group, a specialist in dementia nursing homes across the UK and West Midlands, has long been highlighting the signs to look out for in loved ones should the condition be developing, while providing insight into the best care for them.
So, how exactly do you sport the early signs of dementia in loved ones? We asked the experts to find out more…
Naturally, a telltale sign is often memory loss. Persistent memory loss can really disrupt day-to-day life and it does become noticeable.
Mentioning stories or things that have happened multiple times could be a red flag, while forgetting certain events, where they’ve put things, names and dates is also a common sign, particularly if that’s not something that would happen previously. What’s more, people will often ask the same question multiple times.
Difficulty Planning and Problem-Solving
Failing to complete things that involve different steps can also be something to take note of. Struggling with the likes of planning or problem solving are common traits, while managing finances is also similar,
Tasks that used to take just a small amount of time become drawn out and difficult, and at this point it could be time to step in and seek help.
Confusion with Time and Place
While memory of people can cause issues, confusion is also a common trait. This can be among the most heartbreaking signs of dementia, with people often becoming disorientated on where they are and who you are.
That can bring anxiety and frustration, in which case it’s worth considering various stress relief exercises to aid with this, as well as doing what you can to calm them and jog their memory.
Changes in Communication
You may also notice their language changing. Dementia can have a significant impact on communication skills, with people often struggling to find the right words as well as understanding some lines of communication, particularly when it comes to the written word or understanding visual cues.
Similarly, while language may change, so can mood. Personality changes can often be subtle, however it is something family members often spot.
It is a difficult time for people that are going through the effects of dementia, it can bring confusion and in turn irritability, anxiety and depression. If you are noticing other signs, it’s well worth monitoring mood and behaviour closely.
Withdrawing from Social Activities
As it is such a scary time, it can really damage self belief and confidence, which can often lead to people withdrawing from the things they love, particularly social activities.
The challenge of participating will often see people hide away and can be an early indicator as well as something that can seriously affect a person’s mental health.
If you notice any of these traits in elderly loved ones, then it could be time to see an expert and get advice on how to manage dementia and provide the best care for the needs of those developing the condition.