Your elderly mom still lives in her own home, and really loves the independence that affords her. But lately you’ve noticed that her memory seems to be fading to the point it’s starting to concern you. She forgot her last two doctor’s appointments, and when you stopped by recently to visit your mom even forgot your spouse’s name. You spoke to a friend who’s a nurse about the situation, and she mentioned that it could be the onset of dementia. But you’re still not sure that’s the case, and certainly want the best for your mom without intruding upon her privacy. The first step is determining if she truly has dementia. What follows are the signs to look for.
What Causes Dementia?
Over 40 million seniors worldwide currently suffer from dementia. Within the next 15 years that number is expected to grow significantly. Dementia is not one specific memory disorder, but rather describes a number of symptoms that can be brought about by a variety of negative cognitive influences. Alzheimer’s is the primary cause of dementia, accounting for roughly three-fourths of the cases. Dementia can also be caused by a vascular stroke or by certain diseases including Huntington’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob.
What are the Signs of Dementia?
Once your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be challenging and frustrating from that point forward. A senior with the disease experiences more-and-more difficulty communicating with others. Once-simple tasks can oftentimes become intimidating. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for dementia and your loved one’s condition will probably worsen over time. But caught early on, there are now ways to help slow the disease’s progression. Therefore, initially recognizing dementia’s onset is very important. Dementia symptoms can be clinically broken down into two categories; psychological and cognitive.
- Changes in personality
- Atypical behavior
- Trouble planning and organizing