It can be difficult at first to discern the difference between age-related changes and the early onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There is a lot of information out there to wade through. However, if your senior loved one is beginning to exhibit some behaviors such as forgetfulness and increased agitation, it’s important to take a closer look.
What are some of the early signs of dementia? What should you keep an eye out for? Our memory care in Palm Springs wants to lay out some information that could assist with making this discernment and making you aware of what symptoms you should be aware of. Keep reading to learn more.
1.) Short Term Memory Loss
While we are all guilty of forgetfulness from time to time, including misplacing our keys or forgetting about an appointment on our calendar, the first sign or symptom of dementia is short term memory loss. Forgetting details on occasion isn’t necessarily an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, but if your senior loved one is struggling to remember things that happened just a moment ago, it might be a red flag. Monitor this and pay close attention to any patterns in forgetfulness. Short term memory loss is definitely something to be aware of.
2.) Inability to Concentrate / Increased Confusion
Those with dementia tend to forget where they are or how they got there. They might not understand that they were shopping for groceries or were out seeing a movie and become disoriented or frightened. They may also struggle to concentrate on the task at hand, failing to complete tasks that were once routine for them, including cooking or doing household chores. As their condition worsens, it can even lead to them being unaware of what day or season it is, and even thinking that they are living in the past.
3.) Misplacing or Losing Things
Another early sign of dementia is when your senior loved one begins to lose things. While we have all lost an item a time or two, finding your senior’s glasses in the freezer is not typical. If your senior can’t retrace their steps to find what they lost, this is another serious red flag. It may even lead to accusations of theft from the senior, which prompts them to hide items in even more bizarre places. This paranoia can also lead to outbursts and other erratic behaviors.
4.) Struggling With Common Tasks
If there is one thing that is true about dementia, it is that it impairs one’s ability to complete common tasks. Seniors who have this condition struggle with common tasks, even those that they are familiar with and might usually complete every day. This could include driving a car, cooking a favorite meal, or remembering how to operate the remote control for their television. They may have to ask a loved one for assistance with these things.
5.) Trouble With Language and Speech
It is no secret that we all space on the specific name for something from time to time, defaulting to ‘oh that one thing, what’s the name for it?’. However, for a senior with dementia, they might constantly forget names of common household items, such as a wristwatch or dishwasher. This could cause them to pause abruptly while midway through conversations, struggling to produce the proper word.
6.) Mood Swings and Personality Changes
Another key indicator of dementia is mood swings and stark changes in personality. They may experience a multitude of negative changes, including becoming fearful, paranoid, anxious, depressed, and overall exhibiting a lack of excitement or interest in the world around them. Going to new places or leaving their home can leave them feeling upset and confused. If this is occurring, it might be time to transition to memory care in Palm Spring.
7.) Decline in Personal Hygiene
Do you notice that your senior loved one has recently shown a shift in their grooming habits? A sudden or stark decline in personal grooming can be a red flag that you need to be aware of. A few tell-tale signs include infrequent bathing or showering, wearing the same clothes several days in a row, or skipping brushing their teeth. If they were someone who kept a very clean house all their life only to now be cluttered and disheveled, that can be another huge clue regarding their mental state.
8.) Withdraw From Family and Friends
Last, but certainly not least, you need to ask yourself: is my senior loved one more withdrawn lately? Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease might be prone to shy away from spending time with loved ones, skipping out on family outings or visits with friends. They may even avoid phone calls or text messages. This is due in part to the fact that those affected might not feel confidence in spending time with their loved ones. Or, they may even feel like a burden. Senior isolation is a huge concern that can lead to a wide array of health problems and social concerns.
Memory Care Palm Springs
If you have noticed any of these common signs and symptoms, it’s important to seek help right away. Talk with your senior loved one and schedule an appointment with their doctor to see about getting them a diagnosis. While unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, catching it early can help better manage the symptoms and keep the senior safe.
For those diagnosed with dementia, they might be able to live with a relative for a little while. However, as their condition gets worse, it is important to make sure that they are somewhere safe. Before that point comes, talk to your senior loved one and come up with a plan of action. This could include making the transition to a senior living community, such as our memory care in Palm Springs.
Our facility is dedicated to helping seniors with a wide range of needs, including those who are seeking help from memory care. To find out more information regarding our services and our community, contact us today! We would be happy to give you a tour of our facility and answer any questions that you may have. Here at Bayshire Rancho Mirage, your senior’s health, safety, and wellness is our number one priority!