Dementia is the name for a combination of different symptoms that have to do with mental health. It affects mostly older people, and there’s a common misconception that it severely impacts the quality of life. While some adjustments are needed, you can still live a relatively healthy life. But the key is spotting the early signs of dementia, so that you can act on time, prevent accidents and pay attention to the development of the disease. These are the early symptoms that you should be looking for in your loved ones – and yourself.
People with dementia often forget to perform some basic tasks in their daily routine, especially things that they don’t have a physical reminder to do. If they skip breakfast, they will remember to eat it when they start feeling hungry, but if they forget to brush their teeth, they probably won’t remember to do it later. This can get dangerous, as they can forget to take their medication, or do other tasks that impact their health. If it only happens once or twice, there’s no reason to get worried, but if it constantly keeps happening, you should see a specialist.
There are several ways dementia can impact our ability of speech. Firstly, a person with dementia will often forget what they were planning to say in the middle of a sentence, making it hard to convey thoughts. Secondly, the link between the words and their meaning can simply get lost. This can cause difficulty with understanding someone speaking, because they are hearing the words, but can’t make a connection to what they actually mean. Similarly, when they are speaking, they can’t remember the words they need to express themselves, causing them to sometimes revert to using simple words, or stopping talking altogether. If you see that someone is struggling with speech, try to figure out why it is, and if you notice it’s one of these symptoms, talk to a specialist.
Dementia can make a person forget things that were once completely familiar to them, like local landmarks, their address and even how their house looks. This makes it very easy for people to get lost in their own communities, and poses a real danger. This is why, if you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia, the safest thing you can do is place them in a local nursing home like NewDirection Care. Don’t worry – nursing homes aren’t what they used to be. Now, they are whole micro town communities where people can live freely, with constant interactions with their neighbors, while also receiving the care they need on a daily level.
While reading these symptoms, maybe you’ve already felt some frustration. Things like getting lost, not being able to communicate and similar can make people want to close into themselves and cut off from friends and family out of confusion and shame, making it even harder to notice when something is wrong. They can also experience mood swings, getting angry that they can’t remember something or frustrated after realizing they have forgotten to do a task. Yet again, the shame of not remembering things often keeps people from opening up about problems, so it’s crucial to check up on your loved ones who spend a lot of their time alone and who might be suffering from this. Explain to them that there’s no shame in being sick and that you can help. If you’re noticing this in yourself, reach out to your family or to a local care home.
Dementia happens to a lot of people, and it is certainly something that can be lived with. With a few small adjustments, you can not only prevent the deterioration of the quality of life but improve it so that it’s even higher than before the diagnosis.
This post is contributed by Diana Smith, she is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home design and the latest DIY projects. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.