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Knowing the warning signs of dementia can allow you to get help and early intervention if a loved one is displaying symptoms. Often family members will delay in getting help, dismissing lapses in cognitive functioning as a normal part of the aging process. While modest memory decline does occur as part of the aging process, it is not something that prevents someone from living a full life. Usually any changes in memory related to aging do not interfere with a person’s ability to work, have a social life and live independently. In comparison, dementia gradually worsens over time and significantly impairs a person’s ability to work, live independently, and greatly affects their interpersonal relationships.

The prevalence of dementia increases with age; statistics show that 1 in 10 people have some kind of dementia by age 65 and 1 in 2 people by age 85. Dementia is frequently progressive and degenerative, so learning the early warning signs is imperative to early intervention. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, however underlying medical conditions can also cause dementia and can be treatable.

One of the first and most obvious signs of dementia is memory loss or impairment. Examples of dementia related memory loss include confusing common words, asking the same question repeatedly, a slowed ability to complete a routine activity, and disorientation, such as going on a walk in the neighborhood and getting lost. Early intervention is essential for treatment. Additional symptoms of dementia include:

• Memory loss that affects job skills
• Inability to learn or remember new information
• Difficulty performing familiar tasks
• Difficulty communicating and with language
• Disorientation of time and place
• Poor or decreased judgment
• Problems with abstract thinking
• Difficulty with planning and organizing
• Difficulty with planning and organizing
• Misplacing things
• Changes in mood or behavior
• Loss of initiative
• Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
• Personality changes
• Inappropriate behavior
• Paranoia
• Agitation
• Hallucinations

See your doctor for further help if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms. If you are finding it would be helpful to have in home care to help with daily household and personal tasks that would otherwise get overlooked or be difficult to complete, consider hiring a caregiver for in home care from Care from the Heart. We have been providing quality, compassionate, non-medical in home care in Sun City and the Northwest Valley for over 25 years. Call or contact us today for a free in-home assessment.