Dementia is a very general term, and it can come in a wide variety of forms, such as Alzheimer’s. Dementia is literally defined as the decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. The loss of one’s memory is an example of this. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for between 60 and 80 percent of all cases. Dementia is caused by damage to the brain cells, whereby brain cells are incapable of communicating with each other. Different forms of dementia are caused by damage to different types of brain cells in particular regions of the brain. While most changes caused by dementia are permanent and cannot be treated, treatment is available to other types. Treatment is also available as a means of symptom relief. As a result, it’s extremely important to catch dementia early on so that doctors can address it. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Struggling to find the right words: Getting to the right words quickly is a common sign of early dementia. As a result, it becomes much more difficult to express oneself and to communicate thoughts and ideas. Conversations may be difficult, and they may take longer than expected to end.
- Finding it hard to follow conversations: In a similar manner to how one might forget to use the correct words when speaking, it may be difficult to remember the correct words when listening as well. As a result, it can be more difficult to follow conversations, especially if they’re going quickly. For the same reason, watching and understanding the plot on television series or films may also be a struggle.
- Repetition: This is a fairly common sign of early dementia, and it’s also quite easy to spot. Sometimes, one may repeat questions in a conversation after they’ve already been answered. One may also repeat daily tasks without clear purpose, such as boiling the kettle or shaving.
- Subtle memory changes: This is perhaps one of the most known symptoms. The short term memory can be particularly affected. For instance, an elderly person may be able to perfectly recount a story that occured 40 years ago, but they may struggle to remember what happened earlier on in the day.
- Confusion: When someone is in the very early stages of dementia, this may not be too serious. However, as dementia develops, one may start to forget what comes next in the day, some people’s faces. One may also regularly misplace items.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re suffering from dementia, as many of these symptoms (although much milder) do naturally occur through old age or from fatigue. However, you should still see a doctor to be certain. If you’re becoming older, or know someone who is, then it may be a good idea to do some research into care homes, to alleviate stress, such as care homes in Devon.