Many older adults develop dementia symptoms as they start to age. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. The syndrome can lead to deterioration in cognitive function, affecting memory, orientation, comprehension, and learning capacity.
The impairment in cognitive function due to dementia can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and emotional control. So, how do you know if your loved one has dementia?
Difficulty Completing Basic Tasks
Dementia may affect one’s ability to complete basic tasks, such as preparing meals or driving to a familiar place. An aging adult with dementia may face difficulties remembering how to complete the task or have trouble with coordination.
You may notice your loved one relying on a family member for these tasks or staying away from activities they used to enjoy in the past.
When your aging parent cannot complete basic tasks, it might be a warning sign that their dementia is worsening. The symptoms could affect their visual abilities, such as depth perceptions. These changes can increase clumsiness, accidents, and falls.
Consider moving your loved one into a dementia care home to avoid these mishaps and ensure they’re safe. A retirement home with registered nurses can ensure that your aging parent with dementia is always cared for, reducing the risk of falls and accidents.
Unable to Follow a Conversation
If you notice your loved one constantly unable to follow a conversation, facing difficulties comprehending words, or finishing a sentence, these might be signs of dementia. When an aging adult starts to develop dementia, the change in their cognitive function makes it difficult for them to follow a conversation.
They may also take longer than usual to complete regular activities or get confused about familiar things. As the condition worsens, some people may find it challenging to find words or stop abruptly in the middle of sentences or conversations.
Worsening Mood Issues
People with dementia exhibit changes in personality, and you may notice sudden mood swings. They could become paranoid, anxious, or depressed. This may lead to mood changes and frustration when visiting new places that are out of their comfort zone.
Worsening mood issues are more common among adults with Alzheimer’s. According to experts, up to 40 percent of people with Alzheimer’s suffer from significant depression. However, it may be difficult for seniors with both dementia and depression to articulate their feelings, so it is essential that you keep an eye on mood changes.
Loss of Interest in Socializing
Seniors with dementia may withdraw from social opportunities and avoid meeting people or public spaces. They may become aware of their inability to converse, leading to a loss of interest in interacting with other people.
It is important to encourage your loved one to socialize because socialization can prevent cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by keeping the brain mentally active.
If your loved one exhibits any of these signs, they may be developing dementia. Speak to a medical professional immediately for a diagnosis to ensure you can provide your aging parent with the care they need.