Signs of Dementia: When to Consider Memory Care

Feb 13, 2024

Concerned your loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia?

Read on to learn about signs of dementia and when it’s time to consider memory care.

Signs of Old Age vs. Signs of Dementia

As we get older, it is completely normal for our bodies to change. However, it’s crucial to understand the differences between typical signs of aging and potential signs of dementia.

Normal Signs of Aging

Forgetting Appointments but Remembering Them Later

Researchers have discovered that remembering forgotten appointments later on could actually be a positive sign for our aging brains. It turns out that this ability to retrieve forgotten information demonstrates the brain’s flexibility and adaptability.

Frequently Losing or Misplacing Items

As people age, occasional forgetfulness is normal. But when an older adult frequently loses or misplaces items and cannot retrace their steps to find them, it might be a concerning early symptom of a cognitive impairment. Several studies by the National Institute on Aging and other health care teams have connected such habits to early onset dementia. Keep in mind that not everyone who misplaces things has dementia. But when such behavior is coupled with other subtle signs like changes in personality or mood, it’s time to seek medical attention.

Making Errors With Money

According to another recent study, many people struggle with managing their money as they get older. From forgetting to pay bills to making impulsive purchases, these mistakes can have a significant impact on our financial stability. However, making occasional errors when managing finances or paying household bills is normal from time to time.

    Difficulty With Evolving Technology

    Assistance With Recording TV Shows

    As we get older, it’s no secret that some things in life can become a bit more challenging. And one of the most common challenges we face is adapting to new tech gadgets and electronic devices. According to a recent study, many people struggle with learning new cell phone technology and keeping up with evolving electronics.

    Resistance to Change

    We all have our own habits and rituals that make us feel comfortable and centered, from sipping that morning cup of coffee to going to the gym after work. But as we get older, these routines become even more important to us. They provide a sense of stability and make us feel grounded in a rapidly changing world. So why do we resist change when it comes to our long-standing habits? Researchers believe it’s because familiar routines give us a sense of control. They act as a security blanket, shielding us from the uncertainties that come with aging.

    Eyesight Changes

    As we get older, one of the most common eye issues is called presbyopia. This occurs when the lens inside our eyes becomes less flexible, making it difficult to focus on objects up close.

    Losing Items But Finding Them Later

    We all know the frustration of searching everywhere for our keys or phone, only to find them in unexpected places later on. But researchers have discovered that this common occurrence might be connected to changes in our brain’s cognitive abilities as we age. As we get older, our memory and attention span tend to decrease, making it easier for us to forget where we placed things.

    Signs of Dementia

    Feeling Disoriented

    Individuals who frequently experience disorientation to time and place may be at a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. Feeling like your loved one is constantly in a maze can be distressing, but early detection is crucial.

    Forgetting Important Dates

    Dementia is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and early detection is crucial for better management and treatment. If your loved one finds themselves regularly forgetting important dates, it’s not just about losing track of time. It could be an opportunity to seek medical advice and take proactive steps towards maintaining brain health.

    Difficulty Planning or Solving Problems

    Difficulty in planning or solving problems is one of the earliest warning signs of dementia. This cognitive decline can significantly impact daily life and independence if left undetected and untreated.

    Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

    Dementia affects the brain’s ability to process information, making daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, or even getting dressed a challenge. It’s important not to dismiss this sign of dementia as normal forgetfulness. If your loved one consistently struggles with tasks they once knew well, it’s time to take action and seek medical advice.

    Changes in Mood

    Changes in mood can also be an early indication of dementia. This means that if you notice any uncharacteristic irritability, depression, or anxiety, it may be time to pay closer attention. By being vigilant and recognizing these subtle shifts in mood, you may be able to help your loved ones get the support they need at the right time.

    Confusion With Time or Place

    Dementia can cause individuals to lose track of time or become disoriented in familiar surroundings. Recognizing these signs early on empowers us to seek help and support those affected by dementia.

    Changes in Hygiene

    If your loved one used to take pride in their appearance but now seems disinterested in personal grooming, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional. This could include neglecting to regularly shower, wearing dirty clothes, or failing to brush their teeth.

    Cleanliness in the Home

    Individuals who start neglecting their personal hygiene and keeping their living spaces tidy may be experiencing early symptoms of dementia or memory loss. If you notice your loved ones becoming increasingly disorganized or struggling to keep up with household chores, it may be time to talk to them about their overall health.

    Repetitive Questions and Short Term Memory Loss

    Repetitive questions and short-term memory loss could be early signs of dementia. It’s important to stay aware of these red flags and reach out to your loved ones if you notice any changes in their behavior.

    Losing Important Items

    Losing track of keys, wallets, or even your phone may seem like harmless absentmindedness, but it’s important to recognize these signs early on. Dementia affects memory and cognitive abilities, leading to difficulty in organizing and recalling information. If your loved ones or even you are experiencing this, don’t brush it off as mere forgetfulness.

    Learn about different Montessori activities for dementia patients to take a more active role in their daily lives.

    Key Takeaways

    Concern arises when these changes interfere with daily life. If your loved one is experiencing any of the above signs of dementia, it may be time to consider transitioning them to a memory care facility.

    At Fairmont on Clayton, we’re committed to providing exceptional assisted living and memory care programs. Our residents benefit from a variety of programs and resources designed to help them cope with memory loss and dementia. From memory exercises to cognitive enhancements in their environment, we’re here to support their journey towards improved cognitive abilities. Contact us today to schedule a tour.