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5 Common Early Signs of Dementia

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Many seniors do not notice the early symptoms associated with dementia. Recognizing the signs early can help your senior loved one receive the treatment necessary to prevent dementia or slow its progression. Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Omaha, NE, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care.

Here are 5 of the most common signs of dementia that can be detected early. 

1. Memory Loss

This is the most common symptom associated with dementia. The changes to the memory are subtle and often affect short-term memory. Your loved one may forget where he or she placed the keys or where certain items can be found in the home. Seniors may remember events from high school, but may have difficulty recalling what they ate for lunch that day. Keep your loved one’s brain stimulated and active to help preserve his or her short and long-term memory. 

2. Depression 

Many seniors have depression because of isolation, loss of a loved one, or the diagnosis of an age-related health condition. However, depression can also be an early sign of dementia. If you notice a shift in your loved one’s personality, determine what is causing this change. If he or she is depressed or sad, find out what is triggering these emotions, and develop a strategy to keep him or her as happy and as social as possible. For instance, take your loved one to more outings, sign him or her up for local programs, or suggest he or she volunteer for a community organization. 

3. Confusion 

The lapse in a senior’s memory and critical thinking can lead to confusion. Your senior loved one may no longer remember the names or faces of certain people because of dementia. Seniors with dementia can find everyday interaction with others difficult because of their confusion. To prevent your loved one from being confused, speak slowly with him or her. Make sure he or she gets enough sleep so the body can rid the brain of toxins that can lead to confusion and forgetfulness. 

4. Resistance 

Difficulty adapting to changes in the home or in the daily schedule can be an early sign of dementia. This disease can also cause fear. Your loved one may be afraid to go into a certain room or have doubts about eating specific foods, even meals that were once his or her favorites. To prevent this, change things gradually and try to include your loved one when cooking meals, doing chores, and making any other decisions pertaining to everyday life. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in home care. Omaha, NE, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

5. Repetition

Dementia can cause your loved one to ask the same questions or tell the same stories repeatedly. Repetition is one of the most common behavioral changes associated with dementia. Your loved one may also repeat tasks such as shaving, bathing, and cleaning the same spot or room. Don’t become frustrated with your loved one. Instead, learn what triggers the repetition. He or she could be using it to communicate with you. Listen to his or her questions and provide an honest answer.

If your loved one has dementia or some other age-related condition, consider hiring a trained caregiver. Omaha, NE, elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Call Home Care Assistance today at (402) 763-9140 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and find out about our elder care plans.