When caring for seniors, accurately recognizing early signs of dementia is crucial for providing appropriate care. Dementia itself is not a specific disease, but rather a term that encompasses a range of symptoms caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia. Early signs of dementia can often be difficult to differentiate from normal signs of aging. The care experts at Home Care Assistance, a leading senior home care provider in Summit, know how hard it can be and have identified five early signs of dementia to look out for.
1. Tasks or Familiar Routines Become Difficult
Though many seniors need help with certain tasks that may require a lot of detail or fine motor skills, it is important to recognize when tasks that could normally be completed with ease become difficult. For instance, forgetting the rules to his or her favorite game.
2. Confusion About Surroundings and Time
While the occasional confusion over the day of the week is usually no cause for concern (we all lose track of the days from time to time), when seniors begin to forget what year it is or indicate that they do not know where they are, it could be a sign of dementia.
3. Difficulty Communicating
Lacking the ability to follow or contribute to conversations is another early warning sign. Patients will often forget what they were talking about mid-sentence, repeat themselves, or use words in an odd fashion. He or she may even have trouble forming the right words to speak.
4. Extreme Mood Swings
As people age, irritability is normal when routines are interrupted. However, extreme mood swings and switching between feelings of anxiety, confusion, and paranoia are cause for concern.
5. Making Increasingly Bad Decisions
One of the most common early signs of dementia is trouble managing money. Often times, seniors will have an increasingly hard time staying on top of expenses and bills. Or, your senior loved one might suddenly be spending excessively or giving huge amounts of money to people he or she isn’t familiar with.
Familiarize yourself with normal aging behaviors, and senior behaviors that could be indicative of a more serious issue. If you suspect your love one is showing early signs of dementia and worry he or she can no longer live alone, find live-in dementia care in Summit. The caregivers of Home Care Assistance Summit are experts in Alzheimer’s and dementia, compassionate, and receive ongoing training in the latest care practices. For more information on the services available in your area, call a Care Manager at (908) 450-9400 and schedule your free in-home consultation.