Useful Health Tips

What are the First Signs of Dementia and How to deal with it?

April 10
17:26 2019

Dementia is a collective of symptoms and can affect anyone in their late 30s and early 40s up to an advanced age. Those who have the disease when younger are known to have Early Onset Dementia.

However, the majority of individuals are older adults. Unfortunately, their children are the ones who will take care of them as having a parent with dementia is a common issue around the world.

If you are unable to take care of your parent, either all together or part-time, finding quality help is essential. There is no shame in asking for help and finding someone or a safe place is the best for your loved one and yourself.


Most common issues associated with dementia include:

Memory Problems

Memory problems are not always the first indicator of dementia, although it is one of the first symptoms that point to the illness. Do not assume that a loss of occasional memory is dementia.

Other impairments that go hand-in-hand with memory loss or the loss or difficulty in:

  • Reasoning
  • Focus
  • Language
  • Communication

If your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to get them evaluated by a physician. In the meantime, be patient with them. They will not know what they are doing or why. It is a confusing time for them and the more understanding you are, the better they will adjust to this new way of life.


If your loved one loses interest in things they used to be excited about, such as hobbies or visiting with family and friends, this may be a sign of dementia.

They may also become tired easier and simply want to rest or sleep instead of joining in with an activity and family outings.

Change in Mood

A change in mood may be from a happy, friendly type of person to a gloomy and closed style of dealing with others. Depression is another indicator of dementia.

The individual may lash out at the smallest little inconvenience or something that typically would not upset them. This is another time in which patience is needed.

Struggling With Change

Change can be difficult for many individuals, no matter what their health level is; however, those with dementia have a more difficult time with the smallest changes in routine and everyday tasks. Keeping a schedule and not wavering from that, will be the best for your loved one and you.

If you need to make a change in a schedule or something they do, try to incorporate it slowly as to not upset them.

Being Repetitive

Your loved one may need to repeat things over and over again and know why. This is a sign of dementia as their brain cannot connect to the end of a task.

One of the most common repetitive actions has asked the same question over and over. Even if you answered them once or twice, keep answering the question until you can steer the conversation in a new direction.

Difficulty Following Simple Directions

If your loved one is suffering from memory loss, they may not be able to follow simple directions. Tasks that they have been performing for a lifetime, like tying their shoes or finding the bathroom, may be difficult.

Investing in slip-on shoes and labeling everything they will be using will help in the beginning. The labels will help them feel more independent as they will not have to ask where something is or how to get to someplace in the house.

When to Seek Medical Help

You should make an appointment with your family doctor, who may refer you and your loved one to a neurologist. A neurologist will evaluate an individual’s mental and physical wellness to determine if they have dementia or another issue.

Tests the doctor may request include:

  • Memory and mental tasks, tests
  • Blood tests
  • A complete neurological exam
  • Brain imaging tests

There may be other tests, but these are the most common and can help a doctor determine what stage of the illness your loved one is in.

Causes of Dementia

There are many theories about why someone develops dementia, although it does not affect each older individual, and, no two cases are the same. Some of the issues that can be linked to the causes of dementia include:

  • Brain damage – could be from a stroke or injury
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease – which is the leading cause of dementia in older adults
  • Huntington disease
  • Front-temporal dementia

Dementia Prevention

Although there is no known cure for dementia, there are steps you can take to prevent a diminished mental capacity.

Foods – incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet can help with brain health. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are also good for the mind and body. Eating an abundance of healthy plant-based foods will help keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Vitamins – increasing the intake of certain vitamins, especially vitamin D, can be helpful in keeping a body and brain healthy longer.


Dementia Treatments

Some of the treatments a doctor may try include:

  • Medications
  • Talk therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

There is no cure for dementia, and an individual with the disease will need to be taken care of for the rest of their life. They may never be left alone since they could harm themselves or others.

There are various options for dementia care, including in-home help and assisted living quarters.

Long-term Care

It is important to have the proper care for your loved one. If you are taking care of them yourself, be sure to enlist help from other family members.

You can also join a support group and get help from their insurance company in the form of a home-health-care worker.

You will need to know that anything they can’t understand or complete, although they may lash out at you, is not your fault. For your own well-being and health, you may invest in some talk therapy for yourself to keep your sanity.

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