How to Spot Dementia Early and Learn to Cope
Getting older means having to deal with certain issues that you did not have to face before. One of the more misunderstood is dementia which in most cases slowly robs a person of their mental faculties. However, learning how to spot dementia is important because it differs from the normal issues that most people face.
Here are some of the signs that a senior may be suffering from dementia and understanding what to do when that occurs.
Signs of Dementia
Everyday Tasks Become Difficult: What was once simple is now hard or even impossible to complete. When the everyday tasks become so difficult that they cannot be completed, that is an early sign of dementia.
Changes in Short Term Memory: In general terms, this is when a senior will remember things in detail that happened years ago but cannot remember what they had for lunch that day. They may have difficulty remembering why they entered a room or what they were supposed to do once they arrived. The effects on short term memory are usually one of the first signs of dementia.
Listless: The settling in of apathy is a common early sign of dementia where they do not want to engage in hobbies or meet friends or family. They seem flat emotionally and not interested in the things that use to provide them with pleasure.
Not Following Stories: One early sign of dementia is the inability to keep track of a story that is being told. This is because they forget the early part and become confused at what is happening now. The same is true for watching TV shows when they get confused by the events occurring now because they forget what happened before.
Mood Changes: Unusual shifts in personality and mood are signs that dementia is taking hold. A shy person who suddenly becomes outgoing or a burst of anger for no reason means that the dementia is starting to affect their judgment.
How to Cope
Once you have seen at least two signs of dementia that repeat themselves, a trip to the doctor is warranted. At that point, medication will usually be prescribed to help lessen the symptoms and provide better management of their emotions. However, there is no cure for dementia and in most cases, it will get noticeably worse over time.
For a time, dementia can be handled by the caregiver with patience and understanding. Keeping a good mood in the household and not letting little issues become big ones can help considerably in maintaining proper care while keeping the needs of the senior in mind. The more difficult tasks such as taking care of the income, managing bills, and the like should be done by a trusted relative. But the good news is that with the proper care and support, a senior with dementia may be able to live in their home for years.
Understanding how to spot dementia early means getting them the treatment needed to slow the advancement of the disease and learning how to cope with the results. It will not be easy, and the dementia may become severe enough to require round-the-clock treatment at the appropriate facilities.