Ten Early Warning Signs Of Cognitive Impairment - Dementia/Alzheimer's
1. Memory Loss
One of the most common signs of Dementia is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information.
Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids and/or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
A typical age-related change would be occasionally forgetting names or appointments, location of keys, etc. but remembering them later.
2. Problems with planning and/or problem solving
People with Dementia will experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.
They will have trouble doing common or daily activities that are common and easily handled previously.
They will have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
A typical age-related change is occasionally making errors when doing common daily activities but quickly remembering and completing the activity.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
People with Dementia find it hard to complete daily tasks.
They may have trouble driving to a familiar location or managing a budget or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
A typical age-related change is occasionally needing help to doing familiar tasks such as the settings on a microwave, or to remembering a specific rule to a favorite game.
4. Confusion with time, common and familiar places or people
People with Dementia can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.
They may have trouble understanding something that is not happening immediately.
Many times they will forget where they are or how they got there.
A typical age-related change would be occasionally forgetting the day of the week but quickly remembering or being able to quickly figure out what day it is.
5. Trouble relating with images and relating to common surroundings
People with Dementia may have vision problems such as difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color and contrast.
All or any of these will cause severe difficulties with driving making driving an extremely dangerous situation for the person and others on the road.
A typical age-related vision change would be needing corrective lenses or therapies to resolve the vision issues.
6. Problems reading and/or writing and/or speaking
People with Dementia may experience problems following or joining a conversation.
They may struggle with vocabulary or have problems finding the right word or call things or people by the wrong name.
A typical age-related change is occasionally having trouble finding the right word to use or name.
7. Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person with Dementia may put things in unusual places such a storing the milk in the microwave.
They will lose things and be unable to purposely find them again. Often they may accuse others of stealing from them. This may occur more frequently over time.
A typical age-related change is occasionally misplacing things but being able to quickly find or remembering you lost it and that you need to find it.
8. Poor judgment
People with Dementia will experience changes in judgment and/or decision-making.
They will use poor judgment when making decisions with money. They will pay less attention to grooming and/or keeping themselves clean.
A typical age-related change would be making a bad decision once in a while but regretting it or correcting it and remembering it.
9. Disassociating from common work or social activities
A person with Dementia will start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects and sports.
They will have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby.
They may also avoid being social because of the mental changes that are taking place with in the brain. These changes can causes severe confusion to the person with Dementia.
A typical age-related change is occasionally feeling tired of work, family and social obligations but remembering the activity and at some point in time re-engaging again.
10. Changes in mood and personality
People with Dementia can, and often, become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious.
They may be easily upset, become easily confused, get easily lost in new surroundings, and/or display all these traits when they are out of their comfort zone. And sometimes even in their comfort zones.
A typical age-related change would be developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted but being able to control yourself or speech in the situation and the ability to correct the disruption.
Ten Early Warning Signs Of Caregiver Stress
1. Denial of the effects of the disease to loved one and to caregiver.
2. Anger at the disease and/or loved one and/or self.
3. Social Withdrawal.
7. Inability to get restful sleep, sleeplessness.
8. Irritability and inpatient with others.
9. Lack of concentration.
10. Increasing health problems.