How Do You Know When It's Time for Memory Care?
Aging brings natural changes. Many older adults experience forgetfulness, increased distraction or difficulty multitasking. So it can be hard to know when these occasional lapses mean something more. Knowing the difference between early signs of dementia and the effects of normal aging can help you worry less when you forget a word, or encourage you to seek a doctor’s evaluation to discover if your memory loss requires attention.
9 Early Signs of Dementia
1. Memory Loss
Seniors with early signs of dementia tend to forget recently acquired information. They may ask the same questions again and again. Someone with early-stage dementia may also forget that day’s activities — people who visited them or places they went.
2. Difficulty Solving Problems or Making Plans
People living with dementia may find it more challenging to create or execute a plan. Following processes with multiple steps and numbers may give them more trouble than it used to. Monthly bills or familiar recipes may go unfinished.
3. More Confusion Around Familiar Tasks
Daily or regular tasks may become more difficult. A person with dementia may forget how to navigate familiar routes, put together a to-do list or perform common chores.
4. Temporal or Situational Confusion
Feeling lost or out of place may occur more often. Someone with dementia may lose track of the date or season. They may find themselves somewhere — even in a familiar place — and not know where they are or how they arrived there.
5. Difficulty with Words
We all have occasional lapses when we can’t think of the word we want. But dementia may cause a senior to continually struggle with vocabulary, frequently forgetting the names of familiar objects. They may also find it difficult to follow a conversation or focus on a piece of writing.
6. Inability to Find Belongings
Someone with early signs of dementia will likely leave items in unusual spots — their keys by the bathroom sink or their purse in the refrigerator. Then they may not be able to retrace their steps to recover their misplaced items.
7. Impaired Judgment
One bad choice now and then isn’t unusual, but a senior with early signs of dementia may regularly make financial decisions or become looser in their personal grooming. You may especially notice this if they’ve always been responsible or fastidious.
8. Social Isolation
With difficulty following conversations or performing common tasks, someone with dementia may cancel plans and retreat from social activities.
9. Mood Swings
Confusion, fear, and anxiety all accompany dementia and cause changes in mood or personality, even with loved ones. Disorientation and social isolation can cause frustration and depression.
If a doctor diagnoses your memory loss or a loved one’s as an early sign of dementia, the right support can have deeply beneficial effects. In many instances, early detection and early intervention can slow dementia’s progression. It also allows you time to create a plan for later stages. When the time comes, memory care at a reputable senior living community provides a comfortable environment, specialized activities and expert support.
If you or a loved one is looking for memory care near Port Charlotte, Florida, South Port Square offers person-centered care that focuses on a resident’s remaining abilities and celebrates everyday accomplishments. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact us. We’d be happy to provide more details.