Understanding Dementia: What Are the Early Signs?

Senior Woman Looking Out Window_Signs of Dementia

Dementia is a life-altering condition that affects millions around the world. It can be a daunting and challenging journey, not only for those diagnosed but also for their family members. The key to managing dementia is early detection, which allows for early intervention, better planning, and a more comprehensive understanding of what to expect.

Offering memory care in Sarasota, Florida, our team at SaraBella Senior Living is sharing the early signs of dementia so that your family can seek the necessary support and care as soon as possible.

Memory Loss

One of the most common and early signs of dementia is memory loss, specifically difficulty recalling recent events or newly learned information. It is normal to forget things occasionally, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence and begins to interfere with daily life, it may be an early sign of dementia.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

Senior Woman Using Microwave_Signs of DementiaPeople living in the early stages of dementia often find it increasingly challenging to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe, using a household appliance, or even driving to a known location. If someone is having trouble with routine tasks they once performed with ease, it could be a warning sign.

Confusion with Time or Place

Dementia can make it challenging for individuals to understand time and place. They may lose track of dates or seasons or have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. They may also forget where they are or how they got there, even in familiar locations.

Mood Changes

Dementia can lead to significant mood changes. These changes could include depression, anxiety, fearfulness, irritability, and even mood swings. If someone begins to behave out of character, especially in social situations, it could be an early sign of dementia.

Difficulty with Language

Senior Man Writing Letter_Memory Care in SarasotaPeople in the early stages of dementia may experience difficulty communicating their thoughts. They might forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making their sentences difficult to understand. This also translates to writing. Because someone living with dementia may have trouble focusing, they may lose their train of thought faster than they can write.

Misplacing Items in Odd Places

Most of us misplace our keys or wallets occasionally. However, a person with dementia might put items in unusual places, such as placing a wallet in the fridge or keys in the sugar jar. This becomes one of the signs of dementia when a person also has trouble retracing their steps to find these misplaced items.

Withdrawal from Social Opportunities

A person with dementia might start to withdraw from social engagements, work, or hobbies they previously enjoyed. This could be due to the challenges they face or because they feel embarrassed or overwhelmed by their symptoms.

Challenges Planning or Problem Solving

Dementia can lead to difficulty in making plans or solving problems, affecting a person’s ability to work with numbers, follow a plan, or deal with complex tasks. They might also show poor judgment, such as giving away large sums of money or falling for scams.

Trouble with Visual and Spatial Relationships

Some people with dementia may experience visual problems, including difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color, or recognizing familiar faces. These issues can lead to problems with coordination and balance, increasing the risk of falls.

Recognizing the early signs of dementia is crucial for getting the right help and care as early as possible. If you or a family member is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important not to ignore them. Consult a healthcare professional who can guide you through the next steps and help you navigate this journey. Remember, it is not about finding a cure—it is about finding ways to manage the condition, maintain dignity, and provide support to those affected.

Our memory care community in Sarasota, Florida, offers signature programs designed to prioritize cognitive stimulation and promote engagement. We cater our support and services to each resident in our community, cultivating calming and soothing spaces that encourage independence and honor personal choice.

We invite you to visit our website or contact SaraBella Senior Living to learn more about our memory care program and Sarasota senior living community.