elderly woman talking on phone in her kitchen

Milford Elder Law Attorney on Easy-To-Miss Signs of Dementia

  • By Steven Rubin
  • |
  • Posted September 9, 2022

It is not uncommon for people to experience minor memory problems as they age. However, constant forgetfulness, persistent cognitive impairment, personality changes, and an inability to perform daily tasks can be signs of a more severe condition.

While dementia is not a disease per se, it is a group of conditions and symptoms that interfere with daily life and a person’s ability to function normally. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for somewhere between 60 percent to 80 percent of all dementia cases, according to a report published by the Alzheimer’s Association. Although dementia is a common condition and typically only affects elderly individuals, it is not considered to be a normal side effect of aging.

Dementia can cause all sorts of issues, from an inability to focus and problem-solve to communication issues and visual impairment. If your loved one is showing symptoms of dementia, it is crucial to seek a medical evaluation and get a proper diagnosis. Once you have a diagnosis, the treating physician can recommend an ongoing care plan.

If tests show that the symptoms are being caused by something other than dementia, such as an infection, their doctor can prescribe a course of treatment to remedy the condition. It’s vital to rule out any other potential causes of the symptoms that aren’t related to dementia.

Some of the early signs of dementia include:

Impaired Judgment and Alarming Behavior

If you notice that your elderly loved one is using bad judgment, making reckless financial decisions, failing to exercise proper hygiene, or exhibiting other concerning behaviors, dementia could be responsible.

Getting Lost

Dementia can cause a deterioration of spatial and visual awareness. If your loved one starts to lose their sense of direction or gets lost while driving or walking to familiar places, you might want to visit a doctor to determine whether these symptoms are being caused by dementia.

Trouble Performing Daily Tasks

Patients living with dementia might have difficulty performing everyday tasks like cooking and paying bills. It may also take them much longer to complete certain tasks if their ability to concentrate is diminished.

Communication Issues

Another common sign of dementia that could be easy to miss is communication difficulties. If your loved one is suffering from dementia, they might have trouble engaging in or keeping up with conversations. Repetition is also a potential indicator of dementia. If your loved one repeatedly tells the same story over and over again, for instance, that could be a sign that something more serious than aging is at play.

Confusion Over Time and Place

Dementia can cause confusion over time and place as well. If your loved one regularly has trouble remembering the day of the week or frequently forgets where they are and how they arrived there, dementia could be to blame.

Personality Changes

If you notice sudden changes in your loved one’s personality or mood, you might want to have them evaluated. If they suddenly become very emotional, lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, express fear or suspicion, or become unusually anxious or depressed, it could be cause for concern.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, contact our firmto speak with a Milford elder law attorney today. We can provide information about how to handle this challenging time and help you make the legal and financial decisions that you’ll soon be facing.