Dementia symptoms

We explore some of the common signs of dementia.

There are some common symptoms of dementia, but it’s important to remember everyone is different and may display different symptoms. 

Common dementia symptoms

Dementia symptoms also depend on the type of dementia and its progression, but some common dementia symptoms include:
  • Memory loss, especially for more recent events (short term memory). In the early stages of dementia, your loved one may misplace objects such as their car keys, forget what they were planning to do, or not remember a recent family event. However, they will often be able to recall detailed information about their life as a child (long term memory). As their dementia progresses, their long term memory may also fade. 
  • Difficulty finding their way around, especially in new or unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Problems finding the correct words or understanding what others are saying to them.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Problems learning new ideas or skills.
  • Difficulties with thinking, such as using logic during a discussion.
  • Problems in perception and judging distance, such as missing the edge of a chair when attempting to sit down.
  • Changes to physical abilities, such as difficulty coordinating their movement during chores.
  • Psychological changes, such as becoming irritable, saying or doing inappropriate things, or becoming suspicious or aggressive.
It’s important to remember that the above symptoms could be caused by other health issues such as stress, depression, diabetes or infections, so if you’re concerned, it’s really important to speak to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. 

Later-stage dementia symptoms

In the later stages of dementia you loved one may have severe:
  • Cognitive problems, including failure to recognise close family members.
  • Psychological problems, including confusion, agitation, delusions, hallucinations.
  • Communication problems, including difficulties understanding what is being said to them. 
  • Physical problems, including loss of speech, immobility, incontinence and frailty.

Changes in behaviour 

Throughout the journey of dementia, psychological and behavioural changes can occur. For example, your loved one may become irritable, aggressive or suspicious. These are not so much symptoms as indications that your loved one is struggling to cope and understand what is happening to them. 

Bupa Aged Care

Bupa Aged Care, offers a full range of care including respite, residential and specialised dementia care.

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