It can be devastating when seniors develop dementia. Their needs for dementia care become so profound. But contrary to what you might believe, dementia doesn't have a sudden onset. In general, most people can point to certain first signs in their senior loved ones that were early indicators of dementia.
Memory loss is one of the earliest signs for most patients with dementia. Research refers to this type of memory loss as "Specific Cognitive Decline" and studies suggest that this is strongly linked to later development of dementia.
This kind of memory loss is specific, too: affected seniors are more likely to have difficulty remembering recent events, names and faces of people and finding the right words in conversation.
If your loved one was always cheerful and positive, it can be a sign of a bigger problem on the horizon if suddenly they're depressed and agitated on a frequent basis. Although depression can be common in seniors for several reasons, it's important to watch for these signs and seek appropriate medical care right away.
When people get dementia care as early as possible, it can significantly slow down decline and improve the outcomes. If you want your loved ones to be mentally sharp for as long as possible, don't just brush off "bad moods" when they seem to be part of a personality change rather than an isolated incident.
Problems with Performing Tasks
During our working lives, most of us are organized and capable of performing even complex tasks, although to varying degrees based on the individual. But it's not inevitable that having trouble with these tasks has to happen as we get older.
If simple tasks like balancing a checkbook or following a recipe are suddenly difficult, when they used to be manageable, that may be an early sign of dementia.
Poor Self Care
Sudden loss of attention to keeping up with self care tasks, like taking regular showers and grooming, can also be an early indicator of dementia. It can be a symptom of depression as well, so it's important to pay attention to this sign and see if it coincides with other evidence of possible cognitive problems.
Getting The Right Help
Even though dementia can be a worrisome sign, it doesn't have to cause panic. If you're noticing the early signs of cognitive decline in your loved one, that should be a strong motivator to seek out high quality dementia care as soon as possible. Quality dementia care providers will work with you to develop a plan for appropriate treatments, which may include not only adequate supervision, but also art, therapy, social outings and spiritual resources. You should never feel overwhelmed by the needs for appropriate dementia care when you have a good team on your side.
You should take it seriously when you notice the early signs of dementia, but don't feel like you have to deal with it alone. Contact us and we'll show you how the right care plan for your loved one can give you real peace of mind.