The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration but can also be a time of heightened stress. Family members often don’t recognize early symptoms of dementia, as changes may not occur until later in the disease. This can lead to a family member overreacting when a loved one forgets to put out the garbage or loses the car keys.
Many family members feel frustrated when they discover their family member is losing the ability to perform simple tasks, such as using the remote control.
That is why our Palm Springs memory care community has compiled a list of warning signs of dementia that can help you recognize the symptoms before they get out of hand with your loved one.
1. Misplacing Things
Misplacing items is one of the most common warning signs of dementia. Over time, your loved one will misplace things more frequently. Eventually, they may not remember where the item is placed.
Commonly misplaced items include:
- Keys/car keys
- Glasses or other eyewear (i.e., reading glasses or sunglasses)
- Wallets and purses/pockets
If you notice your loved one misplacing items frequently, then it’s time to talk to a professional like at Palm Springs memory care. Don’t wait until things get worse before you take action.
2. Changes in Conversations
As communication declines, it becomes more difficult for your loved one to tell you something. Instead, they may change the subject or forget the point of the conversation and start rambling on about a topic that didn’t interest them in the first place.
A person experiencing dementia may become easily confused, begin to repeat statements, or simply stop talking. As a caregiver, staying calm and relaxed around your loved one during these conversations is important.
Talking too fast or loud can overwhelm your loved one and make communication more difficult. Instead, speak in a slower tone, use short sentences, and don’t speak over your loved one if they use an incorrect word. Instead of correcting the person, ask for clarification about what they mean by their statement.
3. Memory Loss
As memory loss is one of the first signs of dementia, it can be difficult for a family member to accept that a loved one has dementia. However, your loved one’s memory loss should not come as a surprise.
If your loved one is having trouble recalling names, dates, or directions, it’s important to speak with a professional about this potential problem. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the deterioration of memory further.
4. Disorientation to Time and Place
Another early warning sign of dementia is disorientation to time and place. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult for your loved one to recognize this information. This can result in your loved one not knowing if it’s night or day and where they are located.
People experiencing dementia often lose track of when or what time of day it is. This can make daily tasks seem more complicated or overwhelming. It’s best for a loved one who experiences this symptom to remain indoors during the daytime.
5. Changes in Mood and Personality
As dementia worsens, mood changes become more common. Your loved one may experience sudden changes in mood from happy to angry or from calm to anxious. As a result, they may be more prone to temper flares or sudden outbursts. This can become a more serious problem if your loved one lives alone.
Your loved one may isolate themselves and withdraw from social interaction. They may also try to avoid spending time with family members, as this can make them feel embarrassed about forgetting things on a regular basis.
6. Difficulty Completing Routine Tasks
As the disease progresses and dementia worsens, a person with dementia may have difficulty completing daily tasks. They may forget how to do the following:
- Washing clothes
- Cooking meals
- Driving to work and back home again without getting lost
- Going grocery shopping and returning home again without forgetting items along the way.
He or she may forget how to do daily chores as well, such as taking out the trash, cleaning dishes, or doing laundry.
7. Impaired Judgment
If your loved one is experiencing a change in judgment, this can cause them to put people at risk. This includes putting him or herself at risk. For example, your loved one may begin driving without a license and forget to buckle their seatbelt, which can lead to car accidents.
Your loved one may also engage in risky behavior. They may begin using poor judgment when spending money, including buying unnecessary items or giving large amounts of money to telemarketers.
8. Loss of Initiative
As dementia progresses, someone diagnosed with the disease can lose interest in daily activities. They may become more lethargic and refuse to leave the house or help with chores.
There are ways to encourage your loved one to get out of the house, such as giving them an incentive like a gift card to buy groceries. However, once outside, your loved one may begin experiencing social isolation, which can seriously affect their health and safety.
9. Agitation in High Energy Situations
Agitation is another warning sign of dementia. Seniors need to avoid high-energy situations, such as large crowds or loud public gatherings. Such situations can overwhelm a person with dementia and cause them to become anxious and confused.
Your loved one may easily get frustrated and have trouble participating in social events. If you notice your loved one experiencing agitation, it’s best for him or her to remain at home or in familiar surroundings until symptoms are under control.
Contact Palm Springs Memory Care
As you can see, many signs and symptoms of dementia can occur within the first few years of your loved one’s diagnosis. However, as these symptoms become more apparent and serious, it’s essential that you know what to look for in order to get professional help from our Palm Springs memory care as soon as possible. If you notice any sudden warning signs or symptoms, have your loved one checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. At our Palm Springs memory care, we are capable of helping you at any stage of the disease. For more information about dementia and how we can help, contact us today.
Are you a family member who has a loved one with dementia? If so, then Bayshire Rancho Mirage is here to help. We are a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). At our facilities, you will find independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care options. At Bayshire Rancho Mirage, you can rest easy with the peace of mind knowing that no matter how your loved one’s circumstances change, they’ll be able to get the help they need right away and with kindness and care.