Dementia is a term that is used to classify a group of diseases that affect a person’s cognitive abilities, memory, ability to perform common tasks, and behavior. There is the misconception that dementia only affects the old, but the truth is that anyone can have dementia regardless of their age.
Noticing The Changes
Accurately telling whether someone has dementia is impossible because there are so many other conditions and illnesses that cause similar symptoms. For example, memory loss and changes in behavior can be caused by stress and depression.
Another reason is that looks different for everyone who has the condition. This is because different dementias can affect different parts of the brands, producing different symptoms.
If you notice changes in a loved one, it is important to confirm whether they have dementia before going forward.
Understanding The Signs
Before you go further, you should start by understanding the signs of dementia. We have mentioned some of the above, but additional ones include:
- Vagueness in communication
- Short and long-term memory loss
- Losing interest or enthusiasm in different activities
- Difficulty following instructions
- Emotional unpredictability
- Irritability and paranoia
- Difficulty thinking or using the right words in conversation
- Social withdrawal
Noticing the signs above in a loved one or yourself can be emotional and difficult to deal with. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment do help. Before going for a diagnosis, you can take preliminary tests to see if the symptoms are signs. A quick dementia test will help eliminate your worries or help you determine the next steps to take.
If the preliminary test shows warning signs of dementia, you should get a proper diagnosis. It is also a good idea to do so if you are still worried after the test. Seek out support and people to talk to because things can get emotional quickly.
What About a Loved One?
If you are doing this for a loved one, you should expect some resistance on their part. Many people misunderstand dementia and dementia care and think they will be abandoned after the diagnosis. Start by talking to your loved one about the changes you have seen in them. Be open to hearing what they say and be both compassionate and empathetic.
Once you build a solid foundation, you can start talking about seeing a doctor for a diagnosis. Again, expect resistance but explain to them the benefits of knowing and getting help instead of not knowing and getting a diagnosis when nothing can be done to help.
Preparing For The Future
If the diagnosis does not point to dementia, you can make plans for further tests for you or a loved one to find out what is causing the symptoms you are seeing.
A dementia diagnosis allows you to know early and to start keeping an eye on the symptoms. It also allows you to start planning for the future.
It is best to get a proper checkup if you are worried you or a loved one has dementia. Getting a diagnosis early will help slow the progression of the condition.