The Beginning Signs of Dementia to Watch For

As a caregiver, or the family member of a senior, you will likely notice changes in their memory. 

Some memory loss is a normal part of aging. But memory loss accompanied by changes in your loved one’s behavior and personality is not. The holiday season is when many families notice changes in their elderly loved ones.

There are different causes of memory loss aside from aging and dementia, which is why you must make sure your senior loved one is up to date on their doctor visits. If at any time you are concerned about changes in their health, reach out to their physician. 

Knowing the beginning signs of dementia will help you get your senior loved one diagnosed early. If dementia is the cause of their memory loss, an early diagnosis is critical in getting them the help they need to maintain their health and live their best life. 

Dementia is a progressive disease that has no cure. There are treatments to help with symptoms and possibly slow down the disease, but eventually, your loved one will need memory care services. 

When your senior loved one requires more assistance than you can offer, it would be ideal to research memory care communities. 

Causes of sudden memory loss 

It’s easy to assume a senior with memory loss is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, but this is not always the case. 

There are times when seniors have other things going on in their bodies and brains that are not related to these progressive memory diseases.With the help of a physician and specialists, your senior can receive an examination and testing, which will offer you both the answers you need.

Common causes that are not related to dementia include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Amnesia
  • Brain Tumors
  • Depression
  • Diseases
  • Head Injuries
  • Medications
  • Strokes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The beginning signs of dementia

The early stages of dementia will typically last 2-4 years. At first, you may not realize that your senior loved one has developed dementia, as the signs will be subtle and vague. 

A senior will have little to no cognitive impairment. While they may become more forgetful, it will likely go unnoticed as their personality and behavior will remain the same, and they will efficiently perform day-to-day tasks.

As the disease progresses towards the moderate stages, it will become more evident that your senior loved one’s memory is failing them. You may notice them repeating themselves, calling family members by the wrong name, and behavioral and personality changes. 

It’s recommended to consider assisted living or memory care communities in the early stages of your loved one’s disease. It will make the transition easier when they can be a part of the decision. 

Early signs to look for while spending the holidays with your senior loved one:

  • Difficulty remembering recent events 
  • Increasing confusion
  • Reduced concentration
  • Depression
  • Poor judgment
  • Misplacing things
  • Loss of initiative

Later stages of dementia

During the last stages of dementia, your senior will need the most assistance, comfort, and care. If they have not transitioned to a memory care community yet, now would be the time to look into them. 

In the late stage, seniors will present severe cognitive decline, personality changes such as hallucinations and paranoia, difficulties communicating, sleep problems, and trouble swallowing. 

You will also notice physical difficulties during this stage. Seniors may lose control of their bladder and bowels, walk slowly or not at all, and have more falls.  

If around-the-clock care is needed, your senior will need a safe, comfortable, secure home.

When to consider moving to a memory care community

When your senior is unable to complete daily tasks alone and needs more assistance than you can provide, you may want to move them to a memory care community. 

Though you should start thinking about a transition to memory care once you see the beginning signs of dementia. Waiting too long as they dementia progresses could make a move harder on everyone.

If you have been your senior loved one’s caregiver up until this point, transitioning them to a new home and environment may be difficult, but it comes with many benefits.

Senior living communities offer rehabilitation services, medical assistance, life-enrichment activities, excellent dining services that focus on proper nutrition, and support groups. 

With a list of amenities and compassionate staff, your senior loved one can live safely and comfortably with all of the assistance they need. 

Comfortable and safe living 

At The Kensington Place Redwood City, we understand how important your loved one’s well-being is to you and your family. 

This is why it is Our Promise to love and care for your senior as we would our own. 

With around-the-clock supervision, the highest levels of care, psychological and psychiatric services, rehabilitation services, and life-enrichment activities for socializing, your senior can enjoy their days and truly “age in place.”

We offer two memory care neighborhoods that each provide customized support for your senior loved one regardless of what stage of dementia they are in. 

Contact us today to learn more about our assisted living and memory care communities and the other outstanding services we offer our residents and their families. 

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