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Common Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease - DementiaGuide.com

Posted on May 26, 2008 by DementiaGuide

Common Signs of Dementia

There are many common signs of dementia and not every person with dementia will experience every one. The signs vary from person to person and will not always show up in the same order or with the same intensity. It helps to keep a written record of some type to discuss with doctors if you suspect that your spouse or parent or a friendmay be exhibiting the early signs of dementia.

  • Difficulty with familiar activities. An individual who has always been self-reliant may begin forgetting regular routines. He or she may wash clothing but neglect to use detergent or put the clothes away wet. He or she may cook a meal and then leave it on the stove overnight.

  • Language difficulties. Communication can become frustrating as the person with dementia struggles to find the right word or uses the wrong word with increasing frequency. He or she will begin to experience new limitations in conversational skills they have not experienced before.

  • Lapses of judgment. Losing sight of self-preservation techniques is a common sign of dementia that can be frightening for family members to witness. For instance, the person with dementia may go to the store in his or her pajamas or let a total stranger into their house.

  • Disorientation. Persons with dementia may wander off and not know how to find their way home, despite having walked around their neighborhood for years.

  • Memory Loss. Forgetfulness, particularly short-term memory loss, will show up in the form of repeated questioning. No matter how often they ask a question, they will not remember that they have already had the same conversation.

  • Misplacing things. Not the usual "losing your keys" kind of misplacement that everyone experiences occasionally. People with dementia actually misplace things when they put them somewhere that is incorrect; for instance, their shoes in the refrigerator or ice cream in the bathtub.

  • Mood swings. Although everybody is moody from time to time, a person with dementia will often experience severe and frequent mood swings, sometimes going from tears to fury in seconds, then just as suddenly becoming calm.

  • Personality differences. Any sudden changes in someone's personality from outgoing to suspicious and withdrawn, or friendly to irritable and angry can indicate possible dementia.

  • Lack of enthusiasm. One of the most common signs of dementia is loss of interest in activities that the person has formerly enjoyed. If the person has stopped interacting with friends or taking part in his or her favourite hobbies, it may be an indicator of dementia or the depression that often accompanies it.

If you observe one or more of these common signs of dementia in someone you know, take the time to discuss your concerns with him or her, and, if possible, with a doctor to make sure appropriate treatment options are discussed.

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