In the early stage of Dementia, symptoms are typically mild and go unnoticed. For the most part, those in early stage dementia are still able to be independent and may only require a little bit of assistance. In the early stages of Dementia, let your loved ones try to do as much as they can on their own, and provide assistance as needed.
What Should You Do In The Early Stages Of Dementia?
When in the early stages of Dementia, you should meet with your doctor to develop an action plan that can help you and your loved one living with dementia. If you and your loved one reside in Texas, you can also contact me at Your Dementia Therapist. I am an Occupational Therapist consultant who specializes in dementia, and I can help you address your primary areas of concern when caring for your loved one.
You will also want to talk with your loved ones and develop a plan for the future while they are still able to do so. This includes assigning a power of attorney and advance decision and advance statements to ensure that all their wishes and preferences can be known in the future.
What Are The Very Early Signs Of Dementia?
Common early signs of Dementia include:
#1. Memory Loss /Problems
Memory loss and problems with your memory are one of the most well-known early signs of Dementia. Memory loss usually first affects their short-term memory, such as where they put their phone or keys. It can include not remembering what they had earlier in the day for breakfast or the show they watched a few hours ago.
This can also include not remembering tasks or events that they are supposed to do on certain days.
It is common for loved ones that are in the early stages of Dementia to become more confused than normal. As they experience decline related to their memory, they may struggle to remember faces, words, and places.
The confusion can happen in numerous situations, such as losing their keys, forgetting what month it is, not remembering what day is tomorrow, or not remembering that they have met someone before.
#3. Struggling with Sense of Direction
Your sense of direction starts to become more noticeable with early signs of Dementia. This can include getting lost more often, not remembering certain landmarks, or forgetting how to get to places you have been many times.
Following step-by-step instructions can become very difficult in early Dementia.
#4. Repeating Yourself
Repeating yourself is another early sign that can be recognized in early Dementia. This can include doing tasks over and over again because you can’t remember that you did them. This can also include repeating the same story multiple times or asking the same question because you can’t remember saying it/ asking it.
#5. Having Difficulty with Familiar Everyday tasks
Not being able to do everyday tasks can be a sign of early Dementia. This includes complex tasks that take lots of focus, such as balancing the checkbook or playing a game with lots of rules or moving parts.
Learning to do new things can be more difficult, especially trying to establish new routines.
#6. Struggles to Find Right Word in Conversations
Another early sign of Dementia is having a hard time communicating your thoughts and ideas with others. This is one of those symptoms that others are able to notice when conversing with their loved one living with dementia.
People in the early stages of Dementia struggle to explain things to others or struggle to find the right word to describe their thoughts. This, at times, makes it hard to understand what they are saying or for them to join in a conversation, leaving them with a sense of loneliness.
#7. Loses Interest in Activities
Individuals with early-stage Dementia can lose interest in some of their favorite activities and hobbies. They may even lose interest spending time with friends and family.
#8. Confused about Times and Places
Dementia makes it difficult to judge time. They may forget where they are at times. Dates soon become difficult for them to remember.
#9. Easy Mood Shifts
When in the early stages of Dementia, your loved one might experience mood swings and quick changes in their personality. They may suddenly be irritated, depressed, sad, fearful, or anxious for no reason at all.
Ans. Dementia is most likely to develop in individuals that are 65 or older, but it can develop much sooner as well. Some individuals can see it in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
Ans. On average early-stage Dementia lasts about 2 years.
Ans. Current studies show that prolonged stress may play a role in the development of Dementia.
Ans. Speak with your doctor or dietician regarding recommendation’s for a healthy balanced diet consisting of micro and macro nutrients that are great for brain health.
Ans. For the most part, Dementia is not hereditary. In some rare cases, you may see some strong genetic links, but this is in very few cases.
Ans. While there is no sure way to prevent Dementia, there are things that you can do to help prevent it. These include:
1. Not smoking / vaping
2. Maintaining a healthy weight
4. Eating healthy foods
5. Manage health concerns such as diabetes, high/low blood pressure, cholesterol concerns.
Continue to learn new hobbies that keep your brain alert, such as reading, crossword puzzles, etc.
6. Stay connected socially with friends and family.
If you or a loved one have symptoms of Dementia, you should make an appointment to consult with your doctor. Getting the proper treatment plan in order can help you plan for the future for you and your loved one.