No one likes to think about his loved one suffering from dementia, a state of mental confusion, often a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, that all too frequently afflicts the elderly. While there is no cure for dementia, there are things you can do to help slow down its progression and to hang on to your loved one, as you know him or her, for a little bit longer. The key is to catch dementia early on and to work to combat it, which can be done through medications and mental exercises. However, if you delay in getting help for your loved one, it could be too late for these interventions to be successful, which is why it's so very important to know the early warning signs of dementia.
Warning Sign #1: Significant Memory Problems
There are a lot of jokes out there about older people having poor memories, and while it is true that some memory loss is common among the elderly, extensive memory problems could point to a more serious issue.
If you notice that your loved one has problems remembering basic and important daily tasks, such as taking medication or remembering to lock the door, or if you see a marked decreased in the person's memory over a short span of time, it's definitely time to see a professional to determine if dementia could be to blame and, if so, to seek help and discover your options.
Warning Sign #2: Struggling to Communicate
This second possible sign of dementia is related to the first. Elderly people suffering with dementia don't just struggle to remember the details of events that happened long ago; their memories are impaired to the point that they begin to have trouble remembering words, which can severely impact their ability to communicate.
If your elderly loved one often scrambles to find the right words to express himself, can't remember the names of common objects, or experiences other struggles with communication and language, this problem definitely needs to be addressed quickly.
Warning Sign #3: Behavioral Changes
Finally, take notice of any behavioral changes in your loved one, even if they see positive in nature. If, for example, your normally shy grandmother suddenly becomes gregarious and outgoing, don't just write it off as a happy change. Changes in mood, personality, or behavior are often a sign that reasoning and judgment have been affected, which are two of the hallmarks of dementia.
Aging happens to everyone, but if you are watchful for these signs in your older loved ones, you can put aging- at least the aging of the brain- off for much longer with the right help. For more information, contact a company like Alta Ridge Communities.