The brain is arguably the most important organ in the human body. Our brains help us coordinate actions and reactions, allow us to think and enable us to feel and make memories. Our brain’s functions are what makes us human and keep our bodies properly running. As we age, though, there can be some natural declines in memory. You may have noticed your parents take a moment to remember what day of the week it is or forget where they put the keys in the house. But what if this memory loss is more serious? Unfortunately, aging can put people at greater risk for brain diseases such as dementia. It can be especially difficult to decipher the difference between natural memory loss from aging and the early signs of developing dementia. The expert team at Ventana by Buckner has developed this checklist based off of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Know the 10 Signs” campaign to give you a better understanding of the first signs of dementia.
10 Early Signs of Dementia
- Memory loss that becomes disruptive in daily activities. Memory loss is perhaps the most common sign of developing dementia. This goes beyond temporarily struggling to recall names or facts, though. More severe instances of memory loss include forgetting important dates or appointments and increasingly relying on aids to get through the day.
- Difficulty solving a problem or planning. People with dementia may have difficulty concentrating on the problem before them and take longer to develop and follow a plan. If your loved one seems to be struggling with problem solving in ways they never used to, it could be an indication of dementia.
- Increasing difficulty in completing daily tasks. Difficulty completing tasks can extend into home, work or leisure activities. These tasks can be anything from forgetting the directions on a daily drive to accidently mismanaging a budget.
- Confusion about the time or place. If something is not happening immediately, a person with dementia may become confused. They may lose track of dates, time and seasons. Be on the lookout for this early sign of dementia, especially if your loved one is well-organized and never seems to forget.
- Vision changes. Another early sign of dementia is having trouble understanding visual images and special relationships. Some may have difficulty reading, judging distance or even determining colors or contrasts.
- Problems in speech or writing. People with dementia typically have difficulty joining and following a conversation. They may have to frequently stop to think of a word, repeat themselves frequently or have trouble pronouncing a word that they know.
- Misplacing belongings and an inability to retrace steps. Losing keys in the house is one thing. We’ve all done that at one point or another with a belonging that we need. However, being unable to retrace steps to find those items can be a sign of dementia.
- Poor judgment. A person with dementia may experience changes in decision making. For example, your loved one may be more willing to talk to scammers who are calling their phone. Other examples include poorly managing money or forgetting to follow basic hygiene best practices.
- Social and work withdrawal. Having dementia certainly takes an emotional toll on a person. They may withdrawal from hobbies, friends, families or work due to difficulty keeping up or because of the changes they are experiencing.
Frequent changes in mood or personality. It’s common for a person with dementia to jump from one mood to the next. They may become easily upset, confused, fearful or anxious when they are out of their comfort zone.
Feel Secure in Your Loved One’s Future at Ventana by Buckner
As a full-service community, Ventana by Buckner is able to make a profound impact on the health and wellness of the community’s Members. Ventana’s comprehensive approach to healthcare includes keeping Members active and healthy with amenities and programs such as our state-of-the-art fitness center, instructor-led exercise classes, health and wellness lectures, periodic health screenings and an emergency response system. But as a Life Care community, Ventana goes beyond promoting Members’ general well-being by caring for them through the full continuum of care. Ventana’s campus offers a full range of independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. By providing a full range of services and facilities, Ventana gives its Members the peace of mind that they will be exceptionally cared for, no matter what health challenges they face. For those with loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can feel at peace knowing that Members of Ventana can benefit from Memory Care at Garden View. Here, a highly trained Memory Care team provides many services and amenities so Members can live in stress-free environments with independence, autonomy and dignity. Start the conversation with the team at Ventana to learn how your loved one can thrive in our community. Contact us today to schedule your personal appointment or click on this link to schedule your tour of our community.