While everyone suffers from forgetfulness from time to time, it’s important to recognize the early signs of dementia. This can cause apprehension in many people, but ultimately, being aware of those early signs can lead to effective treatment. Dementia impacts millions of Americans and is a worldwide endemic; taking stock of those early symptoms can go a long way towards enhancing the quality of life.
Let’s explore some prominent early signs of dementia:
A primary factor to early dementia is that your forgetfulness is impacting your day-to-day life. Of course, this is more than just forgetting someone’s name—which happens to everyone—it’s about forgetting much more. Dr. Paulson, who’s the Director of the University of Michigan’s Alzheimer’s Center, claims, “We’re talking about forgetting major events of having a loss of whole episodes. You don’t remember going on a beach vacation for three days with your family or attending your grandchild’s birthday party last weekend.” Clearly, this type of forgetfulness can alter your daily life and is important to take note of.
Issues with language and vision—this is another symptom of dementia. This can mean having difficulty understanding your surroundings and even seeing them. Dr. Paulson explains, “When you speak, you’re having to take the long way around and come up with other phrases to explain what you need because you can’t remember the exact word.”
Finally, a major symptom that often isn’t talked about when it comes to dementia is when people withdrawal from their social life. People with this symptom often don’t enjoy participating in conversations and remembering engagements. Isolation is a major factor in dementia as it builds over time.
All in all, it’s important to be aware of these early warning signs. These can progress over time, impacting your process as a caregiver toward a loved one suffering from memory loss.