Signs of dementia
If you’re worried you or a loved one may be experiencing some of the early signs of dementia, this article might help. Here you’ll find information on the common dementia signs and symptoms, and ways to help manage behaviour changes.
Common signs of dementia
Dementia symptoms depend on the type of dementia and its progression, but some common dementia signs 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 dementia signs and 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 signs of dementia
In the later stages of dementia your 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
A person living with dementia may feel embarrassed or frustrated that they’re no longer able to do the things they used to, or they may become frightened if they don’t recognise certain people or places. Read more about tips for talking to someone with dementia.
Bupa Aged Care
Signs of depression in someone living with dementia
- Increased confusion
- Loss of energy
- Expressing feelings of sadness or worthless
- Losing interest in things they used to enjoy doing
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Being unusually emotional or agitated.
What to do if someone you love is experiencing signs of dementia
If you’re caring for an aging loved one, or someone with dementia, it can be hard to know where to turn to for help. If you want advice from a real person who can help guide you and connect you with the right support, call the Bupa Aged Care Support Line between 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday, on 1800 780 038. It’s free, and available to everyone.