Dementia causes a decline of thinking ability, long and short term memory, and other cognitive function. People with dementia find it hard to complete normal everyday tasks such as house cleaning, driving a car, bathing or getting dressed. Dementia is most often found in the elderly, but can affect younger people also.
The symptoms of dementia will vary from person to person. In some people the symptoms may be quite obvious, while in others they may barely be noticeable. The first symptom that a person with dementia will exhibit is short term memory loss. They may forget what they just ate for lunch or they may tell a story that they just told five minutes earlier.
Signs of Early Dementia
People with early dementia will often have trouble finding the right words when they need them. They may try to compensate by using a definition of the word. They will often forget people’s names and will frequently misplace things. They may start having trouble driving a car or cleaning the house. Their personality may begin to change. The person with dementia may begin having mood swings, become confused, exhibit bad judgment and may even become paranoid. They may become confused when they are in strange places. A person with early dementia may start to avoid people and refuse to go to new places. They may begin having trouble managing their money and financial affairs.
Signs of Intermediate Dementia
As the dementia progresses, the symptoms will worsen. The person with dementia may begin to have trouble with simple daily living activities like taking a bath, getting dressed, brushing their hair and using the toilet. Their sleeping pattern may change. They may begin napping during the day and then have trouble sleeping at night. Confusion may be present even when they are in a familiar place. They may forget important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Occasionally they may have trouble recognizing their spouse or children. Writing and reading will become more difficult for them. They begin to have trouble speaking and may have trouble remembering certain words that they normally use. Falls and accidents may become more common due to their confusion and poor judgment. There will be more personality changes and they may become aggressive and agitated. They may lose interest in things around them and may become depressed and anxious.
Signs of Severe Dementia
Symptoms of dementia will continue to worsen and a person with severe dementia will most often need help with even simple tasks. Constant care and supervision will be needed. They may lose bowel and bladder control. They may need help with all their daily living activities. Eating and swallowing will become difficult. Their short term and long term memory may be completely gone. They may not even recognize their spouse or siblings. A person with severe dementia may have trouble walking without help and may need to use a walker or wheelchair
The person with dementia may be completely unaware that they have these symptoms. They may not realize that their personality has changed dramatically. This is seen more often in a person who has severe dementia.
Symptoms of dementia may vary from person to person, but normally impact short and long term memory and make once simple tasks difficult. While symptoms may differ it is essential to give loved ones the proper dementia care to ensure their safety and well being.