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Dementia is a term which covers a variety of conditions, one of those being Alzheimer’s. It is a progressive disorder which over time can cause the brain to fail. Dementia is different to normal ageing that we can all experience and can end up affecting everyday tasks that need to be completed. Here are some of the warning signs to look out for:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life – Your loved one could be forgetting recent events or what they have done that day. This is one of the most common signs that you see. They might not understand the time, day, date or time of year that we are currently in.
- Changes in mood or personality – People with dementia can change in mood and personality because they find in difficult to explain themselves or understand others. They then might become suspicious that you are doing sometimes against them or confused a lot more.
- Difficulty finding the right words – Communication is key and not being able to explain what they want and need by using language that everyone understands is a sign of dementia. You will have longer conversations with the individual as it takes them longer to explain and it becomes very difficult for them.
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps – This can be seen as normal for time to time however someone with dementia will not be able to retrace their steps and think about when they last had the item in question. They then might accuse people of stealing the item that they have misplaced. The places that you might find the item might also be unusual and very random for the object.
- A failing sense of direction – Here step by step instructions get harder for the individual with dementia to be able to follow. Directions that they once knew very well might become difficult to remember and follow like they have before as well.
- Difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure – Tasks which the individual regularly completes, like getting dressed for example, now is becoming harder and more difficult for them to complete by themselves. They might start putting on clothes in the wrong order which could be a sign.
- Struggling to adapt to change – Not understanding why they cannot remember things can be frightening, for example, walking back home from the shops and forgetting how to get home. They might want to keep to a routine so they feel more in control and therefore change can be difficult for them to understand.
- Everyone will not experience all of these changes and sometimes it might only be one of these that you notice. Therefore if you have any doubt then it is best to receive professional advice from your GP how can talk through everything with yourself and loved one.