The early signs of dementia are very subtle and may not be immediately obvious. Signs such as memory loss and forgetfulness are typically associated with aging and are not usually a cause for concern. But they should be?

Unfortunately, it is estimated that there are over 41 million cases of undiagnosed dementia worldwide. A late diagnosis may mean a patient has less time to live independently. With early detection, they would have been better able to make better use of medications and non-drug treatments, as well as a chance to explain the changes they are experiencing to their friends and family members.

At My Psychiatrist, we work with licensed clinical psychologists who are competent in evaluating cases of dementia and other neurocognitive disorders. Our highly efficient and clinical neuropsychological evaluation services will reveal how your loved one’s brain functions and the changes in mental capacities. This article highlights ten warning signs of dementia that you should not ignore.

Short-term Memory Loss

Everyone experiences forgetfulness now and then, whether it is a colleague’s birthday, a grocery item, or an appointment set weeks ago. Remembering these dates or tasks a short while later is also normal. But for a person living with dementia, it is not that easy. They may keep forgetting things like their keys, tasks, or important dates. They also struggle to retain new information.

Struggling with Routine Tasks

People with dementia may have difficulty performing or completing everyday tasks such as cooking, walking the dog, or getting dressed.

Language and Communication Problems

People of all ages sometimes find it challenging to find the right word in the middle of a conversation. Sometimes we may use an incorrect word. However, it is a cause for alarm when it happens too often to loved ones over 60. A person with dementia may forget simple words or substitute words that don’t make sense to the other person in the conversation.

Lack of Orientation

Many people can relate to forgetting the day of the week or why they went to the garage, only to remember moments later. Unfortunately, people with dementia may no longer recognize where they are and get lost, even in a familiar place.

Poor Decision-Making Skills

It is concerning when a loved one can no longer recognize when they are putting themselves in uncomfortable situations or even in harm’s way. Has your loved one ignored a health issue requiring immediate medical attention? Are they making rash investments or withdrawals? They may have dementia.

Difficulties with Thinking and Planning

Making a grocery list, calculations, organizing a family get-together, etc., can be intimidating for some people until they get the hang of it. However, for persons living with dementia, these are overwhelming and confusing.

Misplacing Items

Have you ever misplaced a pen or your phone? It happens to all of us, but dementia patients may put items in places they ought not to be. For example, a pair of glasses in the oven or a kettle in the garden.

Extreme Mood Changes

People with dementia may display severe mood swings – from calmness to sadness to anger – for no apparent reason.

Changes in Personality

Have you noticed changes in your loved one’s behavior or overall personality? You may need to take them to a licensed psychologist if they act out of character, especially if they’ve become more anxious, irritable, suspicious, confused, or withdrawn.

Becoming Disinterested

If you must encourage your loved ones to do the things they usually enjoy, it is time to seek professional help. People with dementia may lose interest in hanging out with friends and family, shopping, gardening, etc.

Dementia Evaluation Services Available in Church Falls and Reston, VA

Speak with the professionals at My Psychiatrist if your loved one has displayed one or more of these signs. We will provide the resources, support, and care they need, whether in the early, middle, or late stages of dementia. Call our offices at (571) 946-2189 or book an appointment online.