1. Decreased short-term memory
Image Source / RedditStruggling with memory can be an early sign of dementia. Often, this is linked to short-term memory and changes can be subtle. Somebody suffering with dementia might manage to recall events that happened years ago, but they will struggle to tell you what they had for lunch.Original content sourced from Femanin.com
2. Difficulty finding the right words
Image Source / RedditA potential early sign of dementia can be finding it difficult to communicate thoughts. Somebody with dementia may struggle to explain something or find the right words to express what they're thinking. Sometimes, they will pause in the middle of a sentence, not knowing how to carry on.
3. Changes in mood
Image Source / NewsweekChanges in mood can be a possible sign with some dementia sufferers. It can be hard to spot this sign within yourself, but you could notice this switch in another person. An example of this in the early stages of dementia could be depression or low mood.
Image Source / RedditA potential early sign could be no longer feeling or expressing emotions the same as before. This may cause a person to feel indifferent in situations that they or others would usually react to. Because of this, they may no longer have interest in fun.
5. Difficulty completing tasks
Image Source: RedditSmall shifts in the ability to complete everyday tasks is another possible early warning sign of dementia. A lot of the time, you will first notice this change with harder tasks. For example, playing a game with a lot of rules or following a recipe.
Image Source / RedditA sign in the early stages of dementia can sometimes be confusion. People can become confused when they're trying to remember faces. Confusion can happen for different reasons and in different situations. Another example may be forgetting where they've put their keys, or what comes next in their routine.
7. Difficulty following storylines
Image Source / Know Your MemeSometimes, people with early dementia can forget the meaning of some words whilst listening to a story. Because of this, they can find it difficult to follow storylines whilst they are watching TV, or even whilst they are participating in conversations.
8. Decline in sense of direction
Image Source / YelpWhen a person has the onset of dementia, it can possibly worsen their sense of direction and spatial orientation. This may mean they struggle to recognise landmarks that used to be familiar to them, or forget the route to places which they have known all their lives.
Image Source / istockphoto.comThere are different kinds of repetition to look out for when it comes to dementia. This can be due to memory loss. Some people with early dementia may keep asking the same questions or re-tell the same story. Whilst others can shower when they have already had one, or repeat other daily tasks.
10. Struggling to adapt to change
Image Source /RedditSometimes, when a person is in the early stages of dementia, they will experience more fear. All of a sudden, they struggle to remember people they've always known and live in confusion. Because of this, changes can be extremely difficult as it can throw them off even more.
11. Poor judgment
Image Source / safeandsoundhomecare.comAnother sign to look out for with dementia can be the lack of ability to make the right decisions. An example of this is somebody struggling to recognise harmful situations, like someone dressing themselves in shorts and a vest when it's snowing outside.
12. Problems with communication
Image Source / freerangestock.comTake notice a sudden struggle to participate in conversations like before, or if somebody is not able to follow the conversation. Sometimes, people with dementia will stop suddenly in the middle of a sentence, not able to find the words or the name of something.
13. Getting lost
Image Source / RedditSome people suffering with dementia can struggle with their spatial and visual abilities. This can therefore create issues such as getting lost whilst walking or driving. Another example could be misjudging the space and falling into or over objects.
14. Changes to personality
Image Source / RedditIt can potentially be a sign of dementia when a person has notable changes to their personality. For example, somebody may usually be very laid back and thick skinned, then suddenly become easily upset or angered. Others may begin feeling anxious, depressed, fearful or suspicious.
15. Struggling with planning
Image Source / RedditIt can be common with dementia sufferers to struggle with creating and following plans, or working with numbers. Because of this, they may have difficulty cooking a meal they once knew the recipe for, or keeping on top of monthly bills. They can also find it hard to concentrate when others are trying to involve them in a plan.
16. Lack of interest
Image Source / RedditIt is normal to have times when somebody does not feel as social as they usually would. However, if there is an abrupt and unexplained lack of interest in a person's family, friends and other activities, this could possibly be a warning sign of dementia.
17. Losing belongings
Image Source / gearpatrol.comSome people with dementia will put their belongings in strange and random places. They can then find it difficult recalling where they have put the items and can struggle to retrace their steps to locate them. Because of this, you may notice more lost belongings.
18. Confusion about time
Image Source / reddit.comAnother potentially alarming sign to look out for is disorientation about time, such as forgetting what day of the week it is. In more extreme cases, they may confuse the past with the present. An example of this may be asking for their sister, when this person passed away years ago.
19. Confusion about place
Image Source / RedditAnother change to look out for is somebody forgetting where they are or how they got there, as this could be a potential warning sign for dementia. In some cases, they may no longer recognize once familiar places, even if they are significant or have known them all their lives.
20. Neglecting hygiene
Image Source / redditPay attention to any out of character decline in a person's personal hygiene. Some people suffering with dementia will have a clear, consistent change to their grooming and cleanliness. This can be due to them forgetting to wash, or struggling to follow their usual daily wash routine.
21. Difficulty handling money
Image Source / reddit.comIn some cases, you may notice a person gradually appearing to have poor judgment or questionable choices when it comes to handling their finances. An example of this could be splashing out on luxuries they can't afford, or missing payments for their monthly bills.
22. Visual troubles
Image Source / RedditDementia can cause visual problems in some people. This might mean somebody has difficulty differentiating between colors, or they could have an unusual lack of balance. Others may have problems reading, or even have visual issues when they are driving.
23. Struggling with words when speaking or writing
Image Source / RedditAs mentioned earlier, people living with Dementia can have trouble following or joining a conversation. A cause of this is struggling to understand vocabulary others use. They may also use incorrect terms, for example, calling a "mug" a "drink-holder"
24. Withdrawal from work or social activities
Image Source / RedditDue to the struggle with making and following conversation, you may notice an individual with dementia choosing more and more to pull out of social events that they once enjoyed. Another possible reason may be trouble keeping up with the activity, such as watching a football match.
25. Saying inappropriate things
Image Source / Bored PandaSometimes, people suffering dementia can appear to have 'no filter' when they're speaking to others. This is because dementia can affect someone's inhibitions. They might no longer care for social rules and can rebel against the behavior expected of them.
26. Weight changes
Image Source / the GuardianThere are a couple of aspects linking weight change to dementia. An obvious reason is simply forgetting to eat or struggling to make meals. Another is down to burning more calories. Dementia can cause a person to pace more frequently or wander around.
27. Changes to physical appearance
Image Source / PinterestIf you suspect early onset of dementia, then be sure to keep an eye out for any significant or consistent changes to a person's physical appearance. For example, someone who once took great pride in their appearance suddenly starting to go out in dirty or creased clothing.
28. Changes to sleeping pattern
Image Source / RedditIn some cases, strange sleeping habits can be an early sign of dementia. Some suffering with dementia will wake up frequently at night, others may suddenly start to nap during the day. However, there can of course be other reasons for changes to somebody's usual sleeping pattern.
29. Taking sarcasm literally
Image Source / RedditSome people with dementia can struggle to tell when a person is telling a lie, even when this would usually be obvious. Because of this, they can sometimes misinterpret a person's sarcasm as a genuine statement, so will take the statement literally.
30. Falling more frequently
Image Source / Eventing NationAs people age, it's not uncommon to have occasional falls. However, frequent falling may be a warning sign of early dementia. This is down to dementia causing problems with mobility, strength and balance. They can also have trouble finding their way around, which can lead to falling.
31. Helpful Tips For Supporting Someone With Dementia: Be Patient
Image source: reddit.comThis can be difficult when the situation is often frustrating for everyone involved, but patience is key. When talking to a person with dementia, show them that you're listening and that you're not in any rush. Don't try to interrupt if you get tired of waiting, and wait until they've managed to say what they want to say.
32. Offer Reassurance As Often As You Can
Image source: reddit.comIt can be difficult and confusing for someone with dementia, which is why reassurance from loved ones is going to make all the difference. Reassure them as often as you can, and especially in busy social situations like family gatherings, where you can make sure they're involved in the conversation.
33. Don't Discourage Them From Speaking
Image source: reddit.comIf they're taking their time to get out their thoughts and express themselves, it can be easy to just dismiss it and move on if they're not saying what they want to say. If they're trying to communicate and having trouble with it, make sure to encourage them to carry on and try and say what they need.
34. Try Not To Criticize Or Correct Them
Image source: Imgflip.comIf they've said something that sounds silly, wrong or ridiculous, you might feel like you want to tell them they're wrong, to stop saying things like that or jumping to correct them on what they've said. Instead, try to understand why they've said what they've said, and think maybe they meant to say something else. If it sounds wrong, ask for more details.
35. Don't Be Tempted To Argue - Just Let It Go
Image source: reddit.comAt the end of the day, a person developing dementia isn't going to be able to be argued with or reasoned with when they've said something you don't agree with. There's just no point, as they can't change their way of thinking. You'll waste your own energy whilst also making them anxious or frustrated if you argue with them.
36. Make Guesses To Help Them Along
Image source: reddit.comAlthough you shouldn't interrupt or try to correct them, you can still try to help them along by making guesses at what they're trying to say. If they can't think of a word but you have some idea of what they're trying to say, you could make some suggestions. If they look like they're getting frustrated with all your suggestions, though, stop!
37. Make Them Know They Don't Have To Talk - They Can Gesture Instead
Image source: reddit.comTalking can be very frustrating when you can't find the words, so why not help them use gestures instead? You can ask them to point or make a certain gesture if they're trying to explain something, or ask you for something. You could even get some picture cards if that helps them to point at them.
38. Make Them A Quiet Place
Image source: reddit.comIf they're still living at home, then make sure it's as peaceful and clutter-free as possible. Distractions and crowded rooms can easily make them overwhelmed or give them sensory overload, which won't help. So you might want to help them create a minimalist space without a lot of distractions.
39. Emotions Are Actually More Important Than Facts
Image source: hindustantimes.com
When someone with dementia is trying to communicate and finding it difficult, you might be focused on getting down to the facts and finding the right words. But actually focusing on their emotions is more important, as this can be helpful if you need to know whether they're trying to tell you they're scared of something, sad or happy about something.