The day dad forgets how to brush his teeth or mum loses her way back from the shops- these are some of those dreaded moments resulting from the symptoms of dementia. Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK and is one of the biggest health crises of the 21st century.
The main theme of this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month was ‘Remember me’ - highlighting the importance of early detection and diagnosis of dementia.
Here are some of the main warning signs to look out for.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life: One of the most common signs is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information.
Challenges in planning or solving problems: Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure: People may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favourite game.
Confusion with time or place: Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time.
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships: For some people, having vision problems is a sign. They may not realise they are the person in the mirror, for example.
New problems with words in speaking or writing: You may notice a person has trouble following or joining a conversation.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: Placing things in random unusual places. Sometimes the person may accuse others of stealing the items.
Decreased or poor judgment: Experience changes in judgment or decision making
Changes in mood or personality: Some can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, or with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these warning signs or if you have concerns about dementia, you should visit with your GP, who can help guide you in the right direction.
Life Life Well
At Home Instead, we look after hundreds of people with dementia in the comfort of their own home – many in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. Detecting dementia early means we can provide the support to help people live happy, fulfilled lives at home for longer.