To understand the early signs of dementia, it is important to understand the concept of dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term that covers multiple types of neuro-cognitive disorders including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form), Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia, frontal-lobe dementia, and Lewy body dementia.
According to an article on www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au the early signs of dementia are very subtle and vague, and may not be immediately obvious. Early symptoms also depend on the type of dementia and can vary a great deal from person to person. If you notice personality changes such as an outgoing person becoming more reclusive, that could be an indication that something might be going on. Memory problems with recent events or conversations increasing confusion are all signs as well. Sometimes, people stop eating; not because they aren’t hungry but because when you ask them if they want for example a sandwich, they are not correctly processing that you are going to make it for them and they think they will have to accomplish the task, which they can’t always remember how to do. It’s easier to just say they are not hungry. In the beginning stages of dementia, people are more aware and therefore can become more depressed because they sense something is wrong with them. They tend to sleep more and could possibly get their days and nights reversed. Research suggests that depression along with dementia can make the disease progress at a faster rate. Unfortunately, people with the beginning stages of dementia might make poor decisions for themselves and may need their loved ones to advocate for them. Additionally, there are other conditions with symptoms similar to dementia so it is important to consult your doctor if you suspect any of these symptoms arising.
According to https://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp regular physical exercise may help lower the risk of some types of dementia. Evidence suggests that exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Additionally, what you eat may have its greatest impact on brain health through its effect on cardiac health. The best current evidence suggests that heart-healthy eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet may also help to protect the brain. A Mediterranean diet includes relatively little red meat and emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats.
If you or a loved one are experiencing dementia-related symptoms and are in need of home care services to ensure safe and independent daily living or simply need community resources, please feel free to call Connections In-Home Care any time to set up a free in-home assessment.