As we age, it’s common to experience some memory loss. But not all of it is related to aging. It’s possible that some memory loss could be a sign of an underlying medical problem, like dementia.
Dementia is a terrifying disease. It robs people of their memories and ability to reason, and it can happen to anyone. But how will you know if you or someone you love has dementia? What are the first signs of dementia?
In this article, we’ll explore the early signs of dementia, how it can affect you and your loved ones, and what to do if you suspect someone has dementia.
What Is Dementia
When you think of the word “dementia,” what comes to mind? You probably think of an elderly person who has trouble remembering things. Some may even think of someone in a nursing home who can’t remember their name.
Dementia is a general term that describes a decline in memory and other intellectual functions that interferes with daily life. It can affect people of any age, but it is more likely to develop as you get older.
There are many types of dementia, and each has its own cause and rate of progression, including:
This progressive disease causes memory loss and cognitive decline as brain cells die. It is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases.
The disease usually begins after age 60 and becomes more common with age. It affects more than 5 million people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This type of dementia develops when blood flow to the brain is reduced or blocked, usually because of a stroke or other medical problem. It affects about 15 percent of people over age 65 and is the most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.
Frontotemporal dementia is a rarer form of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It causes changes in behavior, personality, and language. The disease can also affect movement, which may cause abnormal muscle tone or slow movements. In some cases, people with frontotemporal dementia develop a progressive paralysis of the muscles that control speech.
Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy body dementia is a form of dementia characterized by the presence of Lewy bodies, which are abnormal structures found in specific nerve cells. This type of dementia can cause a person to experience hallucinations, trouble sleeping, and problems with movement and coordination.
First Signs of Dementia
If you’ve ever had a loved one who suffered from dementia, you know it’s not just a disease. It’s a very long, confusing journey that can leave you tired and frustrated.
But, recognizing the early signs of dementia can help you stay on top of your health and take care of yourself before it’s too late.
The first signs of dementia are often subtle, but they can be difficult to miss if you know what to look out for. So, here’s a list of the first signs of dementia that you need to be aware of:
Loss Of Short-term Memory
If your loved one has never had a problem with their memory before and suddenly starts having trouble remembering new information, it’s probably worth taking a closer look at their health. Short-term memory loss can be frustrating for anyone.
Loss of short-term memory is one of the first signs of dementia. It can be very subtle at first, but it can become more noticeable over time. For example, your loved one might forget where they left their keys or parked their car. They may also struggle to remember appointments or what day it is.
The problem with this type of memory loss is that it can be mistaken for normal aging or other issues like depression or stress. So, if you think someone close to you may be showing this sign of dementia, talk to them about your concerns and consider getting them checked out by a doctor or specialist.
Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
This is one of the first signs of dementia, and it can be easy to miss. At first, you might think your loved one is just being forgetful or disorganized. But if you notice that they are having trouble performing basic tasks such as cooking or driving, it could be a sign of dementia.
If you’ve noticed any changes in your loved one’s ability to do things they once did with ease, it’s important to talk with them about these changes and let them know that these may be signs of dementia.
Problems With Language
Another sign of dementia is problems with language. Words might not come easily—or worse, they might not come at all. It could be hard for your loved one to express their needs and wants or to understand what’s going on around them. They might also forget how to say certain things.
Moreover, people who have dementia may have difficulty following a conversation or understanding what others mean when they talk to them. They might also repeat themselves over and over again in the same conversation because they forget what they said before or because they’re unable to process what’s going on around them.
In addition, people with early-stage of the condition may have trouble making themselves understood by others. They may speak too loudly or too softly and use incorrect words or phrases.
If you notice that your loved one seems unable to articulate his desires or needs clearly—especially at times when he isn’t under stress—it could be a sign that something is wrong with their brain function.
Changes In Personality And Behavior
One of the first signs of dementia can be changes in personality and behavior. Often, people with the condition will become more irritable, aggressive, and moody. They may have trouble controlling their emotions and suddenly become angry or upset without apparent reason. They might also start acting differently toward family members or friends. For example, they could become overly dependent on others or start acting paranoid or suspicious.
As you start noticing these changes in personality and behavior, it’s important to talk with your loved one about them as soon as possible.
Loss Of Initiative
Losing the ability to initiate activities is one of the first signs of dementia. People with the condition may stop doing the things they enjoy, like going out to eat or playing sports. They may also stop going to work or doing chores around the house.
In addition, people with dementia may stop taking care of themselves. They might not take showers or change their clothes as often as they used to, and they could even forget to eat. If you notice these changes in your loved one’s behavior, talk with them about why they’ve stopped doing these activities.
How To Prevent Dementia
Dementia is one of the most devastating diseases affecting a person’s health. It slowly breaks down the brain and makes it difficult to remember things, make decisions, or even perform basic tasks.
Hence, it is important to know how to prevent dementia. Here are some tips on how you can prevent dementia:
The foods we eat can affect our brain’s work, so it’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, and try to include fish in your diet at least twice a week.
Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and is also good for your brain! It releases endorphins which make you feel happier, improves blood flow throughout the body, boosts cognitive performance, and increases oxygen flow which helps keep neurons healthy.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation has been shown to negatively impact memory storage capacity as well as cognitive flexibility (which means it makes it harder for us to think creatively or solve problems). So make sure you get enough rest!
Socializing is one of the best ways to prevent dementia, and it’s also a great way to keep your mind sharp. When you’re around other people, you’re constantly engaging in conversation and problem-solving, which helps boost your brain power and keep your mind active.
Plus, being social helps you stay connected with friends and family—and that’s good for overall health!
Boost Your Vitamin D
If you want to keep your mind sharp, you might want to consider adding Vitamin D to your diet! Vitamin D is a nutrient that promotes bone health and helps with blood clotting. It also plays an important role in the nervous system by helping regulate calcium levels and nerve function.
It’s important to remember that no two people with dementia experience it in exactly the same way. Some people have trouble remembering things, while others have trouble speaking clearly or understanding what others are saying to them. Some people experience both types of symptoms at different times throughout the day.