Dementia is frightening not only to the person suffering from it but also to their loved ones. Memory problems do not necessarily mean that a person has dementia. An individual needs to have at least two types of impairment that greatly interfere with daily life to receive a diagnosis.
Aside from difficulty remembering, a person may experience impairments in communication, reasoning, focus and language. Although there is no cure for dementia, detecting it early can significantly help in slowing its progression. Below are early dementia symptoms to look out for.
#1. Change in sense of smell
Changes in sense of smell can be associated with a decline in cognitive function. Researchers found that people who performed poorly on a smell test had a higher risk of developing dementia than those who performed well. This early symptom can occur anywhere from 3 to 9 years in advance of other signs.
#2. Difficulty finding the right words
A person with dementia may struggle to express their thoughts as they couldn’t find the right words. They also tend to forget the meaning of the words and having a conversation with them may take longer than usual. People with this syndrome may also find it hard to follow storylines.
#3. Change in taste buds
Although it is normal for our taste buds to change as we age, the change associated with dementia is extreme. One sign is suddenly eating lots of sweets. Another hint is eating expired food or items that are not edible.
#4. Lack of empathy
Because dementia affects the area of the brain responsible for behavior, the ability to understand what’s going on or detecting social cues can be lost.
#5. Short-term memory changes
Another early symptom of dementia is trouble with short-term memory. An elderly woman may be able to remember events that occurred decades ago but not what they ate for breakfast. Other signs of changes in short-term memory include struggling to remember why went inside a room and forgetting where they left their item.
#6. Financial troubles
Inability to manage money or make proper financial decisions is another sign of dementia. These occurrences are often mistaken as a part of the natural aging process but know that it’s not.
#7. Failing sense of direction
Spatial orientation or sense of direction begins to decline with the onset of dementia. Once-familiar landmarks are no longer recognizable to the person, and it becomes difficult to follow step-by-step instructions.
#8. Repetitive actions and thoughts
Repetition can be a warning symptom of dementia due to general behavior changes and memory loss. The person may repeat tasks, such as cooking or shaving. They may also repeat the same question even after they have been answered.
Detecting these symptoms early can help slow down the emergence of more debilitating symptoms. Please SHARE this with your family and friends to increase awareness!
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