First Signs of Dementia

Memory loss should always be investegated further as it could be the first signs of dementia

Look closer at what is causing memory problems

If you suspect that someone or even yourself might be suffering from memory loss it could be the first signs of dementia.

It as always a good idea to be checked by a doctor if you do suspect that yourself or somebody you know is having memory problems.

If you or the individual are reluctant to see a GP, why not take a simple dementia test to see if your memory is being affected by something that needs further investigation.

What are the first signs of dementia?

We all forget things now and again but detecting dementia early is crucial to get the best treatment for the individual and help for families and carers. We take a look at some of the first signs you might detect in somebody.

  • The person might have a problem finding the correct words to say. This can become more evident in a stressful situation. They could find difficulty in answering questions about themselves.
  • In the first signs of dementia often family names become difficult to remember.
  • The person may feel disoriented. Examples could be the person not recognising familiar places that you know they should know such as roads and areas near to where they live. The dementia sufferer could easily get confused about the time of day and start acting out-of-place, and example would be getting up in the middle of the night wanting to go somewhere.
  • The person could have poor judgement on simple tasks, an example would be dressing inappropriately for weather conditions outside or being totally unaware of a dangerous situation.
  • They may become withdrawn and depressed, have bouts of unexplained temper, or feel anxious and start to panic at simple tasks.
  • They may have trouble thinking and speaking clearly. Doing practical tasks become more difficult and the order in which you go about doing a simple task becomes confused especially tasks that you used to do quite easily before.

Dementia can affect everyone differently so the symptoms of one person that has the condition may not be the same symptoms of another sufferer. What happens with one person is not what may happen to somebody else.

People who develop diseases like Alzheimer’s or Lewy Bodies can often have good quality of life for a number of years. However, they will generally get progressively worse with time. As the disease worsens you may find the symptoms get progressively worse and it may difficult to look after the sufferer.

If you notice the first signs of dementia it is very important to get help from social services, local doctors and most importantly, family and friends.

There are some great helpful organisations on our Groups page that can help if you notice the first signs of dementia.

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  • Gary

    I don’t want to name names but one of my friends is showing signs of memory loss. I went around to my friends last week and he keeps forgetting little things like where he left his car keys and even what number house he lives at. Do you think this is showing possible signs of dementia? And if so what shall I do? I have read about the symptoms of dementia that you show above and they seem to apply to my friend. My friend is suffering similar signs of what you describe above. I have tried to get him to see a doctor but he refuses and says that he is ok but I know he isn’t because of the way he behaves and speaks about things. What should I do. What do you suggest I do if he keeps on showing the signs of dementia yet doesn’t believe me when I say he has dementia.

    • Hello Gary, you have to try to convince your friend to see a doctor. Although you cannot force him to visit their GP. Sometimes nagging someone constantly can make matters worse. I would suggest you try to contact his family and let them know your thoughts. Maybe they can help him to recognise that he needs to see a doctor. Are his family and other friends aware that he is showing symptoms of dementia. I would tread carefully when talking to his family. There are many organisations that produce leaflets on dementia and Alzheimer’s so maybe you could get hold of a few and ask him to read these.
      Let me know how you get on. The main thing is that you continue to be a good friend to him.
      Good luck.

  • brenda storey

    I am forgetting a lot of things and dementia is on both sides of my family one on mams one on dads

  • I lost my father-in-law from dementia so heartbreaking to see, he loved hugs an kisses, he knew me mum by touch, I am doing a course on dementia so I no more and help people that need help it will take me 3 years but it be worth it xx

    • john

      Hello Colleen and thanks for the comment. Its tragic to lose a loved one to dementia so i’m sorry to hear about your father-in-law, but good on you for wanting to train to help others with dementia. Good luck with your studies.

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