Seniors who develop dementia or Alzheimer’s may have warning signs that appear early on but aren’t noticed. There is no cure for either, so early detection won’t stop a senior from developing dementia. However, recognizing the early warning signs can lead seniors to get treatment early on in the development of the disease. The earlier that seniors start taking steps to protect their cognitive skills, the slower the progression of the disease may be. That’s why it’s so important for seniors, their families, and their 24-hour home care providers to look for these warning signs.
Confusion About Time Or Place
If your senior parent seems to be often confused about time or place that is a sign they should be evaluated by a neurologist for potentially having dementia. Seniors who have 24-hour home care should also ask their care providers to start keeping track of how often the have confusion about time or place and when it happens during the 24 hour period. A senior with 24-hour home care will be able to better track their episodes of confusion because there will be one caregiver there during the day and one at night who can record any instances of confusion that your senior parent has.
Difficulty Doing Familiar Tasks
Seniors who are having trouble doing things they do all the time may be at risk for developing dementia. For example, if your senior parent suddenly seems unable to count their money at the store or if they forget how to work a key or turn on the washing machine when they’ve done those tasks a thousand time it could be that their brain is not working correctly because they are in the early stages of dementia. A cognitive exam by a neurologist is a good idea to see if they have any of the other symptoms of dementia.
Inability To Find The Correct Word Or Put A Sentence Together
Seniors who have dementia will often struggle to find the correct words when they’re speaking or be unable to put a full sentence together when they’re having a conversation. As seniors age they may experience this kind of confusion occasionally without it being a symptom of dementia, but if it happens frequently enough that you notice it happening or they mention to you that they are having trouble lately putting words together that means it’s probably time to have them evaluated by a doctor.
Some memory loss is normal as people age. If the memory loss seems to occur overnight or if it’s severe, that could be an indication of dementia and not just normal memory loss. Also, if your senior parent is suddenly forgetting vital information like where they live, their children’s names, or their own name and age, that type of memory loss could be indicative of dementia and not just normal age-related memory loss. You should get your senior parent into a neurologist that specializes in dementia if you start to notice any type of recurring or severe memory loss.