Early stage dementia is often difficult to assess or recognize. Many people mistakenly assume that the changes they see are a part of normal aging. Symptoms may also go unnoticed because they develop gradually over a long period of time. When it is determined that someone has early stage dementia, finding the right support is essential. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the signs and symptoms of early stage dementia.
Early Stage Dementia Symptoms
Common early symptoms of dementia include:
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- increasing confusion
- reduced concentration
- personality or behavior changes
- apathy and withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do daily tasks.
Top 10 of Early Stage Dementia
Below we have included the top ten early signs of dementia. If you or your loved one has several of these symptoms, consult your physician.
- Memory Loss – It is normal to occasionally forget appointments, names or information. Someone with normal aging will remember them later. A person with dementia may forget things more often or not remember them at all.
- Difficulty with tasks – While it is common to become distracted during a task and forget part of that task, someone living with dementia will have difficulty either initiating, stopping, or doing all of the steps of a task.
- Disorientation – A person with dementia may have difficulty finding their way to a familiar place or feel confused about where they are, or think they are back in some past time of their life.
- Language – We all forget words and names, but usually we can remember them later. Someone living with dementia may have difficulty finding words or understanding words leaving them feeling confused and frustrated.
- Abstract thinking – A person with dementia may have trouble knowing what the numbers mean or what to do with them. They may also have difficulty taking in information and coming up with a rational conclusion about that information making others think they are being paranoid.
- Changes in judgement – When this ability is affected by dementia, the person may have difficulty making appropriate decisions, such as what to wear in cold weather or determining whether it is still safe to drive.
- Spatial skills – A person with dementia may have difficulty judging distance or direction when driving a car. This can happen because peripheral vision is decreased with dementia and therefore depth perception becomes challenging.
- Misplacing things and not knowing what things are for – A person with dementia may not know what their keys are for. They may put the keys in the refrigerator or attempt to start the car with a screwdriver.
- Personality changes – Someone with dementia can have rapid mood swings, for no apparent reason. (The reason is that they are experiencing dementia.) They can become confused, suspicious or withdrawn. Some can become disinhibited or more outgoing.
- Loss of initiative – Dementia may cause a person to lose interest in previously enjoyed activities or require cues prompting them to become involved.
Supporting Someone With Early Stage Dementia
Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens Georgia that has specialized programming and opportunities for fully engaged life for people with all stages of dementia. Our programming for each stage is developed and implemented by a dedicated staff member. If you or someone you know are experiencing changes in life, please feel to contact us to learn more about or programs and community.