During the Holiday Season it’s easier to see changes in behavior that could be the early stages of memory impairment or dementia.
Noticing changes is important but not for the sake of providing a “label” for a condition but for the purpose of creating a desirable environment for your loved one with dementia.
Although doing this can cause concern, taking the time to understand the situation is the first step in providing your parent, grandparent, sibling, client, friend or colleague the best care possible.
These are the most common signs that dementia-related changes may be taking place:
Failing or slipping memory that disrupt daily life. Forgetting newly-learned information and important dates or events.
Problem solving difficulties. Difficulty concentrating and following familiar processes like recipes or paying bills.
Difficulty carrying out familiar tasks. Getting lost or needing directions driving to a familiar destination. Confusion using appliances (e.g., microwave or TV remote).
Confusion about time or location. Frequently losing track of dates and passage of time. Trouble understanding things planned for later. Forgetting where they are or how they got there.
Inability to find the right words. Difficulties during conversations, like losing track and not knowing how to continue. Repeating themselves. Problems finding the right word or referring to things by the wrong name.
Misplacing things. Placing things in unusual locations. Inability to retrace steps to find lost items. Accusing those around them of stealing.
Decreased or poor judgment. Poor judgment when dealing with money (e.g., giving large amounts to telemarketers).
Neglect of Personal Hygiene. Lapses in grooming and personal cleanliness, not recognizing there is anything out of place with their personal care.
Withdrawal from social activities. Pulling away from social activities, interests, large groups, sports and hobbies that they were recently happy participating in. Trouble remembering how to participate in favorite pastimes.
Changes in mood and personality.Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. Feeling agitated in places where they once were comfortable.
Noticing one or more of these is cause for discussion about a course of action to help create the right, safe and healthy environment for your loved one.
We are experts on helping families locate that happy, healthy environment. You can call us anytime for help and advice.