Dementia is a condition affecting millions worldwide. While it’s not a specific disease, it describes a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily life. But there are things you can do to improve symptoms, so the sooner you spot them, the better.
It can be hard to spot the symptoms early on. But there are warning signs to look out for – and it’s vital to get help as early as possible if you’re concerned about your health or that of a loved one. Here are five signs of dementia:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g. reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
- Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, e.g., following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bill payments. They may have trouble concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
- Difficulty concentrating and planning. This includes struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, becoming lost in familiar places or having problems doing everyday tasks like paying bills or keeping track of finances.
- Poor judgment. This typically includes things like showing poor judgment when managing money, for example paying less attention to their appearance or personal hygiene.
- Getting confused about time or place. This can involve wandering into unsafe areas and becoming lost in places they know well. They may also struggle with time passing, for example thinking it is lunchtime when it is actually dinner time.