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Common Signs of Dementia

 

What are some common signs of dementia?

Dementia causes many problems for the person who has it and for the person’s family. Many of the problems are caused by memory loss. Some common signs of dementia are listed below. Not everyone who has dementia will have all of these signs.
  • Recent memory loss. All of us forget things for a while and then remember them later. People with dementia often forget things, but they never remember them. They might ask you the same question over and over, each time forgetting that you’ve already given them the answer. They won’t even remember that they already asked the question.
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. People who have dementia might cook a meal but forget to serve it. They might even forget that they cooked it.
  • Problems with language. People who have dementia may forget simple words or use the wrong words. This makes it hard to understand what they want.
  • Time and place disorientation. People who have dementia may get lost on their own street. They may forget how they got to a certain place and how to get back home.
  • Poor judgment. Even a person who doesn’t have dementia might get distracted. But people who have dementia can forget simple things, like forgetting to put on a coat before going out in cold weather.
  • Problems with abstract thinking. Anybody might have trouble balancing a checkbook, but people who have dementia may forget what the numbers are and what has to be done with them.
  • Misplacing things. People who have dementia may put things in the wrong places. They might put an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl. Then they can’t find these things later.
  • Changes in mood. Everyone is moody at times, but people with dementia may have fast mood swings, going from calm to tears to anger in a few minutes.
  • Personality changes. People who have dementia may have drastic changes in personality. They might become irritable, suspicious or fearful.
  • Loss of initiative. People who have dementia may become passive. They might not want to go places or see other people.

Source:

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Early Diagnosis of Dementia by KS Santacruz, M.D. and D Swagerty, M.D., M.P.H. (American Family Physician February 15, 2001, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010215/703.html)

go to: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/seniors/mental-health/662.printerview.html for full article.

 

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