Dementia is by far one of the most devastating health conditions a person can develop. It can change your personality, steal away cherished memories, create confusion and lead to an early death.
Unfortunately, there are no cures for Dementia at the present time, but there are proven ways to slow its progression. Below are six warning signs that every one should be aware of. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
1. Short-Term Memory Loss
It happens to everyone. One minute you are on your way into a room to do something only to forget what you were doing. Losing your keys, or forgetting someone’s name even though they told you just 2 minutes ago can also happen to anyone.
Problems occur however, when things like those mentioned above happen several times per day. If you find that you are starting to forget things more often, or if you struggle with remembering the simplest things, it could be an early sign of dementia.
2. Difficulty Choosing Words
Most people have no trouble choosing their words while they’re having a conversation. Most of the time words just flow and you’re able to communicate easily and effectively. If you start to notice that during a conversation you have to stop mid-sentence searching for the right words, that’s a warning sign.
It’s even more troubling if the words you’re struggling for are common words or words that you are used to using frequently. If you find that your conversations are frequently interrupted by you searching for the right words, talk to your doctor right away.
3. Problems Concentrating
Your ability to focus on a task or concentrate during an activity are higher level cognitive functions. Because we’re so used to being able to focus at will, we often take for granted this ability. With Dementia unfortunately, your ability to focus and concentrate can become more difficult.
If you start to notice that you’re having problems planning things, doing math or dealing with numbers, playing games or solving puzzles more so than usual, that could be an early sign of dementia.
4. Difficulty Managing Time
We often take the role of time and its meaning for granted. Every day we utilize our understanding of time to keep us on schedule, make appointments and stay organized. When people have Dementia they often lose all concept of time.
In the early stages of Dementia, it’s not uncommon for people to lose track of time. Their minds begin to wander, and the meaning or importance of time becomes irrelevant. If you start to notice that you’re having difficulty staying on time or if time passes quickly without your awareness of it, you should contact your doctor right away.
5. Difficulty Recognizing Where You Are
Just like the concept of time, we often find ourselves very aware of our surroundings. We know every inch our homes, where things are, our offices, favorite coffee shops and restaurants. It’s second nature. But with Dementia, even the most familiar places can become unfamiliar.
If you find that you are starting to no longer recognize familiar places, get lost easily on your way to work or out to dinner. Or even if you have to stop and look around because you’ve forgotten where you are. That could be a sign of a declining mental capacity and the early stages of Dementia.
6. Overwhelming Feelings of Fatigue
The symptoms of Dementia often bring with them the feelings of depression. And depression in and of itself can cause fatigue.
Short term memory lapse could mean big problems. If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, please consult a medical professional immediately.
However, suffering from depression or feeling tired doesn’t necessarily mean you have Dementia. But combined with some of the other early warning signs it very well could be.
If you are feeling more tired and run down than usual, talk to your doctor. Together you can get to the root cause of your fatigue.