Dementia is a term used to describe a decline in mental ability.
It is usually manifested by difficulties with thinking and memory loss.
Dementia is a soul-destroying illness that devastates the lives of both its victims and their friends and loved ones.
It changes its victims from normal, healthy, mentally active human beings, into shadows of their former selves. This robs them of many of their cognitive abilities including memory, although it should be understood that each disease under the “umbrella” heading of dementia, has its own particular symptoms, which may or may not include memory loss.
Dementia itself is not a disease, rather a general term used to describe and categorize certain mental disorders. Among them are:
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
There are more than 100 different types of dementia, all of which are progressive and damage the brain more and more as time passes by.
Alzheimer`s is the most prevalent type of dementia, accounting for over 50 percent of all dementia cases. While only an estimate, about 5 million Americans suffer from some form of dementia.
8 Early Warning Signs of Dementia
Short-Term Memory Problems
Experiencing short-term memory problems may be a warning sign that you suffer from dementia.
For instance, a dementia patient may be able to remember certain events of several years ago with clarity, but not be able to recall what they ate last night.
Difficulties with Completing Simple Everyday Tasks
The early symptoms of dementia include inability to perform common everyday activities that they have been practicing previously for years with ease.
For instance, they may suddenly find it difficult to drive to a once familiar location, etc.
Difficulties with Picking up a Suitable Word
Having difficulty with being able to choose a correct word can be another sign of this terrible condition. Namely, patients suffering from early stage dementia may find difficult to have a meaningful conversation with someone since they may not be able to choose suitable words.
Mood swings are another indicator of dementia. Furthermore, dementia sufferers can experience mood swings, such as depression, a change of personality, etc.
For instance, a dementia victim who is typically shy may suddenly appear to be quite outgoing and bubbly. This means that their judgment in a specific situation may become impaired.
If someone usually repeats something they have said, or repeat a question they have asked earlier in a conversation, they may suffer from early stage dementia. Additionally, they may also be prone to repeat certain actions, such as having a shave or brushing teeth.
Inability to Follow a Storyline
These people may also have trouble concentrating or focusing on a certain task. For instance, they may not be able to follow a track of storylines.
Difficulties with Understanding Time
Dementia patients can also find time meaningless. In other words, they are not able to understand why something should be happening at particular moment.
For example, being told that a certain event will happen at a particular moment may not appear to make any sense to them.
Difficulties with Recognizing Places
Those suffering from early stage dementia may not be able to recognize where they are. Unluckily, even being in their homes might not seem familiar. That’s not all, these people may also suddenly realize that they are in a particular place, but they do not know how they got there.
Although there is no cure for dementia, the progression of the disease can be slowed down and the symptoms can be greatly reduced with the right support, care, and counselling.