Dementia has specific symptoms that when in combination, you especially need to pay attention to. Here are the top 10.
1. Memory Loss
—Obviously this is the major one. You or your loved ones may notice memory loss affects the daily routine the most.
Patients may experience subtle short-term memory changes:
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
Cognitive changes should be expected such as difficulty with:
- Following storylines
- Finding the right wording
- Communicating or finding words
- Complex tasks
- Planning and organizing
- Coordination and motor functions
- Problems with disorientation, such as getting lost
2. Psychological changes
- Personality changes
- Inability to reason
- Inappropriate behavior
3. Declining Motor Skills
As the condition progresses, difficulty with motor functions and coordination will arise. Patients will lose the ability to do small daily tasks like going to the bathroom or getting dressed.
An example could be getting lost on the way to the same grocery store you've been shopping in for years. Disorientation can be a subtle symptom but should be paid attention to.
5. Behavioral Changes
Personality changes such as opposite manners or personality traits—for example, becoming cranky when you were always easy going, becoming blissful when you always seemed irritable, or just being inappropriate in public can signify the onset of Dementia.
Being repetitive is also a common symptom of dementia. If repeating daily tasks like showering or other obsessive behaviors.
6. Confusion, Paranoia, Disorganization
Signs of confusion, frustration, paranoia and disorganization are common signs of dementia. When memory or thinking or judgement lapses, confusion arises making it difficult to find the right words or interact with people normally. From here, frustration occurs increasing paranoia.
7. Struggling to adapt to change
In the early stages of dementia, patients may suddenly start to forget the people they know and also their daily actions.
8. A Failing Sense of Direction
Sense of direction and spatial orientation are also affected. These are common functions of thinking that start to deteriorate with the onset of dementia. This can translate to now recognizing once-familiar landmarks and forgetting regularly used directions. It also becomes more difficult to follow a series of directions or step-by-step instructions.
9. Mood Swings
Changes in mood are also common with dementia. Loved ones often notice this. Depression, for instance, is typical in the early stages of dementia. Along with mood changes, personality changes also occur. A typical sign is a shift from being shy to outgoing from judgement being affected through the disease.
Hallucinations or delusional thoughts are often experienced by dementia patients, most commonly visual (seeing things that aren't there) or auditory (hearing noises that aren’t there). Hallucinations could be a perception of an event, objects, or person that’s sensory in nature, meaning patients with Alzheimer’s can actually feel, hear, see, taste, and smell things that don’t really exist.