The most common early signs of dementia to watch out for are:
Memory loss is one of the first signs of dementia that people start to notice.
Short-term memory tends to be most affected. Of course, everyone forgets things at times, but those with dementia tend to forget more fundamental things than those who don’t have the condition.
Problems with speech
Most people have problems finding the right word sometimes.
But those with dementia will often forget simple words or phrases with increasing regularity as the condition progresses.
Someone in the early stages of dementia might start to lose things more easily.
They might also put their belongings in places that seem irrational, such as putting house keys in the sugar bowl.
Changes in personality
This is particularly prevalent in some forms of dementia such as frontotemporal dementia.
These changes can happen very early on in the stages of the disease, and may go unnoticed for many years. The types of changes can differ greatly – someone may become more apathetic or depressed, and appear to lose interest in people or pastimes that they used to love. They may also start to lose any sense of social boundaries and start to behave inappropriately, or become angry or anxious.
Falls are one of the early symptoms of dementia that many people fail to pick up on.
With one in three adults over the age of 65 having a serious fall each year, falls are becoming a very serious problem. While falls can be for a number of reasons, people with dementia are much more prone to falling.
This can be because of a number of reasons – for example, confusion, muscle weakness, or the Parkinsons-like motor problems of Lewy body dementia.
If you or someone you know is seeming to fall much more regularly, and is exhibiting any of the other early symptoms of dementia listed above, it might be time to speak to a GP or dementia specialist.
For tips on how to deal with the psychological impact of falls, see this blog.