Does Dementia Have Early Symptoms?

Symptoms of dementia
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Some symptoms of dementia may be noticed fairly early.

Many people are affected by dementia.

Unfortunately, it is not likely to disappear anytime soon.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates about 12.7 million individuals age 65 or older will have a form of dementia by 2050.

According to a recent Yahoo article titled “This Is the No. 1 Dementia Symptom People Ignore, Doctors Say,” recognizing early signs of dementia can be beneficial for those affected and their families.

Common symptoms of dementia are forgetfulness and memory loss.
It is important to adapt to early symptoms of dementia and plan for its progression.

While memory loss is a commonly known sign of dementia, it is not the only symptom.

Research has found there are many psychological and behavioral changes loved ones may notice.

These include anxiety, apathy, agitation, depression, and irritability.

Hallucinations, euphoria, and lack of inhibition may also be symptoms, but are certainly more rare.

Although many behavioral changes can be subtle, they often begin years prior to a diagnosis of dementia.

Why is recognizing signs and symptoms of dementia helpful?

The affected individuals and their family members can begin preparing for the progression of the disease.

According to a 2020 study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, those with a dementia diagnosis are more likely to have poor credit scores and financial issues than those who do not.

The study compared the credit scores and medical records of 80,000 Medicare beneficiaries who were 65 or older.

Certain symptoms of dementia impact planning, problem solving, focus, and judgement.

As a result, finances can be easily mismanaged.

Simply missing bill payments can lead to higher penalties and interest fees.

Those diagnosed with dementia will require greater financial assistant and guidance from loved ones as time goes on and the disease progresses.

Symptoms of dementia specifically related to finances are consistently making late credit card payments, overspending, and struggling to balance checking accounts.

Those with dementia are particularly vulnerable to scammers and fraud through identity theft or other schemes.

By noticing the symptoms of dementia early, you and your loved ones can create a plan to protect yourself and your finances as your incapacity increases.

It is wise to set up power of attorney and other estate planning documents while the aging adult is still able to make decisions.

If your parent has a revocable living trust, now may be the time to have the “Successor Trustee” appointed as a “Co-Trustee” to help manage the trust assets and receive regular copies of all investment statements and bank accounts.

That way you can monitor the finances and be alerted to any nefarious activities.

Reference: Yahoo! (Aug. 8, 2022) “This Is the No. 1 Dementia Symptom People Ignore, Doctors Say”

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