Dementia refers to the impairment of at least two aspects of brain function, including memory, attention, orientation, language, the ability to get things done, etc. Most of the dementia symptoms worsen gradually, but in some cases the deterioration could be more rapid. Apart from affecting the person’s memory, demented patients will progressively lose reasoning, critical thinking skills and their ability to live their daily life independently.
The most common form of dementia affecting the elderly is Alzheimer’s disease, for which there is currently no cure. Up until today the key treatments focus on delaying the deterioration by adjusting the patient’s environment to ensure their mental and physical safety, as well as offering assistance to relatives and caregivers on how to prepare for the behavioral changes which the patient will undergo as the condition progresses.
10 dementia warning signs
- Repeatedly asking the same questions, losing memories of recent events, but being able to recall events of the past.
- Being unable to carry out basic activities, which they used to be able to perform, correctly, such as forgetting how to make financial transactions in a bank or forgetting how to drive.
- Having difficulty when doing previously familiar activities or skills, either at home or at work.
- Confusing people, days, times and locations.
- Finding it increasingly difficult to make connections between what is seen and the decisions that should follow. Examples include being unaware of how much time has passed, attempting to place objects on but letting go before reaching that surface, experiencing difficulty remembering the names of things they’ve seen, getting lost or frequently getting into car accidents while driving.
- Experiencing issues associated with the use of language, whether when speaking or writing, including having a tendency to pause when conversing and not knowing what to say next, or constantly repeating words or phrases.
- Putting objects in inappropriate locations or forgetting where they were put something altogether, such as putting a pair of shoes in the refrigerator.
- A loss or reduction of their decision making ability and neglecting to take care of their personal or home hygiene. For example, when preparing to attend important events, they may be unable to make a decision about what they should wear, neglect to do their hair and forget to shower.
- Withdrawing from work or activities that were previously enjoyed.
- Undergoing emotional and personal changes, such as frequently feeling confused, anxious, afraid, aggressive or depressed.