Millions of people suffer from dementia each year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 47.5 million people live with dementia, making it a serious cause of concern for aging adults.
While most people associate dementia with Alzheimer’s and memory loss, research shows there are a number of symptoms marking this complex condition, especially in the early years. However, the symptoms of dementia aren’t always easy to identify. From changes in mood to a weakened handshake, many of the early warning signs of dementia are subtle.
So, how can you tell if you or a loved one is suffering from dementia? While neuropsychologists agree any change in a person’s behavior may be a cause for concern, there are specific warning signs to look for.
Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s — What’s the Difference?
Although younger people throughout Lancaster, York, and the rest of the world can develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and require the helpful hands of caregivers, your risk of each increases with age. The symptoms of the two conditions often overlap, so distinguishing them is critical for proper treatment and senior care.
Feeling confused, forgetful, or having a hard time doing everyday tasks? Here are five early warning signs of dementia to be mindful of and ensure you receive the very best dementia care:
In the early stages of dementia, it’s common to become confused. From misplaced car keys and forgetting people you’ve met before, when thinking, judgement, and memory lapses, confusion can arise. Some dementia sufferers are able to overcome this confusion and manage their symptoms. For others, their confusion only intensifies with age, resulting in the need for dementia home care.
- Short-Term Memory Changes
Memory troubles are often another early sign of dementia. At first, memory difficulties are often subtle and only involve short-term memory. Someone may be able to remember an event from decades ago but not the movie they watched last night. In such a case, in home care for dementia may be necessary, especially if the condition progresses and affects their health and well-being.
- Changes in Mood
Mood changes and personality shifts are also common with dementia care patients. Depression is typical during the early stages of dementia, and many people with the condition who were shy beforehand become bold and outgoing. This is largely due to dementia’s ability to affect judgement. In some case, issues with depression and judgement are severe enough to warrant 24-hour home care.
- Difficulty Completing Everyday Task
Subtle changes in someone’s ability to complete normal everyday tasks may be another early indication of dementia. Along with struggling to balance a checkbook and complete other normal tasks, many dementia sufferers also have difficulty learning to do new things. In many instances, the severity of this symptom increases over time, eventually leading to the need for in home care for dementia or general senior care.
- Weak Handshake
Dementia is typically associated with brain-related symptoms, but the Population Health Research Institute in Ontario found that weak hand grip is an early symptom of heart problems, stroke, and dementia as well. The study involved 140,000 people and found a clear link between poor grip strength and death from all three of these conditions.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these five early warning signs of dementia, proper home care can help improve your quality of life. With the help of compassionate, patient, and knowledgeable caregivers, dementia home care patients have been able to successfully manage their symptoms. Your wellbeing is everything, it’s important to put it in the right hands. Contact one of our offices in Lancaster or York, PA for a free in-home consultation.