A checkup should be scheduled when warning signs of dementia are first noticed.
Your loved ones are getting older.
Each time you visit, you notice new lines crossing their faces, especially if time and distance make those visits less frequent than you would like.
You have also recognized changes in memory and temperament.
According to a recent AARP article titled “7 Early Warning Signs of Dementia You Shouldn’t Ignore,” paying attention to changes in your older loved ones may provide valuable information regarding their health.
Dementia is a common ailment for seniors.
It affects language skills, problem solving, attention, and visual perception.
It can make your loves ones vulnerable to financial abuse and scams.
Early detection can allow you and your loved ones to create an estate plan with protections in place for future incapacity and death.
What are common warning signs of dementia?
Trouble with everyday tasks.
Your loved ones have been paying bills and following recipes since young adulthood.
These tasks are routine and familiar.
If your loved ones are struggling to concentrate and taking longer to accomplish parts of their daily routine, it may be an early indication of dementia.
Do your loved ones ask you a question, hear the answer, and then repeat the question later?
Do they repeat the same story about a recent occurrence several times?
If your conversations seem cyclical, it may be indicative of one of the warning signs for dementia.
Sometimes your loved ones may abruptly end a thought mid-sentence or forget common words or names of common objects.
Joining conversation or following the flow of discussion can also be a challenge for those with dementia.
One of the common warning signs for dementia involves forgetting where one is or struggling to navigate space and locations.
Changes in personality.
Your loved one may have been laidback and jovial.
Dementia may be the culprit if your loved one suddenly becomes fearful, anxious, easily upset, disinterested, or depressed.
Confusion about time and place.
Failing to remember the day of the week or where one is should be a cause for concern as this is one of the common early warning signs of dementia.
Your parents likely reared you to be responsible.
If hygiene and poor financial judgement are noticed, these could be warning signs of dementia and should require a checkup with a physician.
The physician should run a battery of tests to diagnose or rule out dementia.
These include cognitive and neurological tests, lab tests, brain scans, psychiatric evaluations, and genetic tests.
Being alert for warning signs of dementia can help you protect your loved ones from many of the negative impacts of this disease.
Reference: AARP (May 4, 2021) “7 Early Warning Signs of Dementia You Shouldn’t Ignore”