When your loved one gets a little forgetful, you may think he is just getting older and less mentally sharp. But as time goes by, your loved one may show a variety of other symptoms related to dementia. This article will list a few red flags that could indicate their possible onset of the condition. Please keep in mind that not all cases of dementia are easy to identify, and it's vital for you to be well-aware of and monitor your loved one's behaviors so that you can act on this knowledge to get them help as soon as possible.
What Is Dementia?:
Dementia is a progressive brain disorder that affects your loved one's memory, thinking, judgment, and behavior. It's the most common form of long-term brain condition among older adults. The causes of dementia are still unknown, but research indicates that it's the brain's gradual deterioration due to some factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and other medical conditions.
No one knows your parent's personality and hobbies better than you. So if you witnessed that your aging parent exhibits some unusual behavior or experienced a feeling that something is off. There is a good chance that your parents are struggling with a disease.
Identifying significant dementia symptoms in older adults and recording the early stages of dementia can make a huge difference. Your observations could give helpful insight to physicians, which can be used for making a diagnosis.
Dementia is a brain disorder that affects memory, thinking abilities, attention span, and communication with others. It can be caused by Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy body disease. This type of illness is most common in the elderly and is also becoming more common for middle-aged people that are not receiving adequate treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
It is crucial to note that everyone's aging process is different, and the following signs may not be true for everyone. However, listed below are general signs that your elderly parent may have dementia:
1. Memory loss
Your aging parent may start forgetting important information for work, home, or personal details. Or maybe they don't seem to remember simple day-to-day things. Additionally, your parent may be finding it challenging to do things that used to come very easily to them, like paying bills or managing the family budget.
Your parent may begin losing interest in activities that used to interest them, such as exercise or visiting their grandchildren. It can lead to an inability to make decisions that can put your loved one's safety and well-being at risk in many cases. They may begin making unwise financial decisions and investing in things they will outgrow or not use anymore.
3. Difficulty in Finding the Right Words
When your loved one is having a conversation with you, they may often use the wrong word for something. Additionally, your loved ones may repeat themselves several times because they can't find the right word to express themselves.
4. Changes in Personality and Behavior
When your aging parent is suffering from dementia, mild personality and behavior changes can occur even if their personality was mild to start with. You may begin to notice them becoming more irritable and agitated, less dependable and responsible, and even displaying unusual behaviors like hoarding or collecting items that don't make any sense to you or other family members.
5. Inability to Perform Simple Tasks
It may include a declining ability to read the newspaper, having difficulty saying goodbye, difficulty walking, and an inability to perform simple tasks like writing a check or signing a bill. Additionally, dementia can make it hard for your loved one to recognize faces and maintain eye contact.
6. Less Concern With Appearance
Clothing may become a challenge to your loved one, especially in the earlier stages of the disease when people begin to lose track of time and self-care becomes a difficult task. Additionally, you may notice that they don't care about how they look, often dressing in pajamas or bedclothes when they're thought to be at home.
7. Change in Sleeping Patterns
Your loved one may begin to sleep a lot more or a lot less than they did before. For example, they may sleep during the day and be awake at night or wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep.
8. Changes in Eating Habits
Significant changes in your parent's eating habits, such as neglecting meals, not eating their favorite foods, or having very little interest in food, can be symptoms of dementia. In addition, your loved ones may start forgetting how to prepare their food and feel like you are forcing them to eat something unappealing or making them eat when they're not hungry.
If you notice some of these signs in your parents, don't just brush them off because they could be a sign of a serious illness. Instead, be gentle and take time to truly listen to your parent and let them know you are there for them. Seeking help is an option to take to confirm if your loved one has acquired the disease.
How to Get Help for Your Aging Parents’ Dementia Symptoms
1. Consult a Doctor
Even though it can be difficult to talk about, you should consult a doctor if you suspect your elderly parent suffers from dementia. An honest, professional opinion from a physician can go a long way in helping you better understand the situation and develop a personalized care plan that can give your loved one the best quality of life during this challenging time.
2. Find Companion Support
If you are concern with your parent's welfare but you are sometimes busy with work. It is better to find companionship support ! for your parent to take care of them 24/7. It will give you peace of mind to know that they are being taken care of when away from home.
3. Exercise Compassion
Practice the art of compassion anytime dealing with an elderly loved one with dementia, particularly during these potentially difficult times when symptoms of dementia or another illness may make them more confused or angry than usual.
4. Look for Proper Healthcare Facilities
If your parents’ symptoms are starting to worry you, this is the time to take action. Many facilities and healthcare communities like Evergreen Cottages Assisted Living ! offer home care for senior citizens who have dementia. Their caregivers can be a great source of help if your parent shows a decline in their mental health.
When the mind ages, the body usually follows. Many people, especially adults over fifty, will start to worry about their parents’ health if they see them forgetting important dates or events. If you are worried that your aging parent is not doing well, try talking about their symptoms with them. The list above is very general and may not apply to everyone with dementia, but it can give you a leg up on identifying the issue quickly so you can get help for your loved one as soon as possible.
I'm Andrea Gibbs, Born, raised, and still living in New York. I'm a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I'm a blog contributor at Serenity Senior care to motivate other parents about how they can enhance their elderly loved ones quality of life.