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5 Early Symptoms of Dementia in Seniors

By James R. Buscemi, 9:00 am on

Dementia is a decrease in mental ability that usually affects seniors. It can accompany diseases like Alzheimer’s, and it sometimes occurs after a stroke or because of vitamin or hormonal deficiencies. No two experiences with dementia are exactly alike, and a senior with the condition may display dozens of symptoms.

 Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The North Broward, FL, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care.

Here are some common warning signs of dementia you should look out for when caring for your senior loved one.

1. Difficulty Finding Words

We all have difficulty finding the right words occasionally. However, if your loved one experiences this often during everyday conversation, it could indicate early symptoms of dementia. Your loved one may grow frustrated if he or she is unable to express normal thoughts, name ordinary objects, or recall the name of a place or person. Conversations with a senior in the early stages of dementia may take longer than normal. Your loved one may even ask you the meaning of a word he or she is familiar with.

2. Repetitive Conversation and Tasks

Dementia centers on memory loss, which can lead to symptoms like repetition. You may notice this in your loved one’s conversations if he or she repeatedly tells the same stories or asks the same questions over and over. You may also notice your loved one is repeating daily tasks. For instance, showering two or three times a day because he or she forgets about having bathed already, or buying the same groceries repeatedly, even though he or she has a pantry full of food.

3. Changes in Mood and Personality

Some people assume dementia is all about memory loss, but the condition can also affect mood and personality. Depression often develops during the early stages of the condition. A senior who was once loud and boisterous may become quiet and withdrawn, while someone who was once quiet may become loud and outgoing. These personality changes can eventually affect a senior’s ability to use good judgement, especially in social settings.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in home care. North Broward seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

4. Lost Sense of Direction

Even if your loved one has taken the same route to the grocery store every day for 30 years, in the early stages of dementia he or she may forget how to get there. You may also notice he or she no longer recognizes familiar public places or forgets how to do familiar tasks. For instance, a senior who has been making great pot roast for a long time could suddenly forget the ingredients or the steps for cooking the meal. The problem can extend to learning new routes or new instructions for tasks like cooking.

5. Inability to Keep Up with Stories

This sign is often overlooked, but many seniors with dementia find they can’t keep up with books, movies, and TV shows like they used to. Beyond entertainment, they may also have trouble following conversations. If your loved one asks you to repeat yourself over and over, it could be an early warning sign of dementia.

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. North Broward, FL, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. Contact us at 954-906-5161 to learn more about our services and set up a free consultation.

 

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