10 Warning Signs of Dementia

1. Memory Loss.

Forgetting recently learning information is one of the most common early signs of Dementia. A person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall the information later.

What's normal? Forgetting names or appointments occasionally.

2. Difficulty in performing familiar tasks.

People living with Dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday tasks. Individuals may loose track of the steps involved in preparing a meal, placing a telephone call or playing a game.

What's normal? Occasionally forgetting why you came in to a room or what you planned to say.

3. Problems with language.

People living with Dementia often forget simple words or substitute unusual words, making their speech or writing hard to understand. They may be unable to find the toothbrush, for example, and instead ask for 'that thing for my mouth'.

What's normal? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

4. Disorientation to time and place.

People living with Dementia can become lost in their own neighbourhoods , forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get home.

What's normal? Forgetting the day of the week or where you were going.

5. Poor or decreased judgement

Those living with Dementia may dress inappropriately, wearing several layers on warm days or very little clothing in the cold. They may show poor judgement in giving away large sums of money to telemarketers.

What's normal? Making a questionable or debatable decision from time to time.

6. Problems with abstract thinking.

Someone living with Dementia may have unusual difficulty performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what numbers are for and how they should be used.

What's normal? Finding it challenging to balance a chequebook.

7. Misplacing things.

A person living with Dementia may put things in usual places: an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.

What's normal? Misplacing keys or a wallet temporarily.

8. Changes in mood or behaviour.

Someone living with Dementia may show rapid mood swings from calm to tears to anger - for no apparent reason.

What's normal? Occasionally feeling sad or moody.

9. Changes in personality.

The personalities of people living with Dementia can change dramatically. They may becoming extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or dependant on a family member.

What's normal? People's personalities do change somewhat with age.

10.  Loss of initiative.

A person living with Dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the TV for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to do unusual activities.

What's normal? Sometimes feeling weary of work or social obligations.

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