What is Dementia?
Dementia is a chronic disorder of the mental processes caused by either a brain disease or injury damaging the brain. Symptoms can start appearing early, and their severity will mostly depend on what is causing the dementia itself and, combined with a person’s overall health, will dictate the speed of deterioration. There are 4 main types of dementia:
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Alzehimer’s disease
What are the Early Symptoms of Dementia?
The earlier these symptoms are noticed, and the necessary dementia care provided, the safer and the more comfortable they will be. At Sova Healthcare, we strive to help you and your loved ones identify these symptoms as early as possible by providing you with more knowledge and information as to what these might be.
1. Difficulty Completing Tasks
This is one of the less obvious symptoms of dementia but should be taken seriously. Tasks which may have been completed with ease before may take the person longer to finish, or may be left unfinished if there is a sense of frustration. For example, someone might find it more challenging to sort their money out whilst paying for shopping, or they may find it difficult to grasp the rules of a new game. As well as everyday tasks, their ability to learn new skills or understand the processes behind a new task may indicate that something is wrong.
2. Changes in Mood
The most common change in mood often manifests itself in depression, or a general sense of low mood which impacts their everyday life. Alongside these changes, there can also be a change in how someone approaches others. Someone who may have been shy and reserved may begin to be more confident and outgoing as a result of their judgement being impaired.
As well as depression, someone’s general willingness towards tasks and everyday life may be impacted. They may lose interest in hobbies or activities that, before the onset of dementia, they were passionate about and looked forward to. Dementia can deter someone from wanting to leave the house and have fun; instead, they may prefer to stay inside and opt out of social interactions with friends and family.
Repetitiveness may be one of the most easily recognisable symptoms of dementia. Someone may carry out a task such as cooking or making a note of something more than once, if they are experiencing cognitive impairments. Repeating questions in conversations after they have been answered is also a common symptom. This can lead to frustration for all involved but can leave the dementia sufferer feeling confused and bewildered.
5. Difficulty Adapting to Change
In the early stages of dementia, someone noticing these changes in themselves can lead to a sense of panic and fear. All of a sudden, they may not be able to recognise people they once knew, or they may lose the ability to navigate routes they were once familiar with. As a result of this, having a routine in place becomes crucial, any slight changes to this potentially causing a fearful and negative reaction.
What to do if you think someone you care about suffers from Dementia?
Making sure that your loved one is safe and secure when they’re suffering from dementia is very important whichever one of the 7 stages of dementia they might be in. That’s why if you’re worried that someone you know or care about may be suffering from dementia, there are many ways for you to receive support and guidance on how to best assist them and what steps to take next. Sova Healthcare have specialist Dementia care services to enable your loved one to remain at home, and disrupt their routine in the minimalist way possible. Contact us today to find out more.