The early signs of dementia are similar to red flags, one red flag might get your attention, but the more red flags, the more imperative it is to see a health care provider.
Early signs, or changes from a “person’s normal” that begin to affect daily life include:
- Memory loss of recent events and information
- Confusion about place and time
- Familiar tasks become challenging
- Trouble finding words, finishing thoughts and sentences, following directions
- Decreased reasoning ability and altered judgment
- Changes in mood and personality, frequent mood swings, disinterest or withdrawal, suspicion
- Difficulty with complex mental tasks, planning, problem-solving
- Withdrawal from work/social activities
While red flags can indicate a problem, it might not be dementia. That is why getting an accurate diagnosis is so important. Some of the signs can be caused by another medical condition, medication interactions or side-effects, hearing or vision loss, depression, thyroid problems, or even severe but untreated pain.