Ten early signs of dementia

Knowing the warning signs will help you get the timely support you need.

dementia, australia, seniors, disease, common, ageing, facts, health, warning signs

How do you know if memory loss and confusion are just signs of getting older or the first indicators that something more sinister is afoot? Knowing the warning signs will help you get the timely support you need.

The first symptoms and warning signs of dementia can be subtle and often people mistake them for normal signs of ageing.  Common symptoms such as problems with your memory, especially about recent events, confusion, a change in personality or feeling apathetic towards something you used to enjoy can be an indicator that something is wrong. If you experience several of the warning signs below it’s time to consult your doctor.

1. Short-term memory loss which inhibits you from doing day-to-day tasks.
Forgetting what you went upstairs to get or what bus takes you in to town, only to remember soon after, happens to us all. Those suffering from dementia may experience forgetfulness more frequently and never remember.

2. Difficulties doing day-to-day tasks.
It’s easy to get distracted and forget to read the paper or put the bins out, but someone with dementia may forget that they have had the paper delivered or that the bins need to go out at all.

3. Not finding the right words.
We all get a little tongue-tied or forget what we were about to say. However, those with dementia may substitute inappropriate words or forget simple words.

4. Not knowing where you are or what day of the week it is.
A momentary lapse in forgetting which day of the week it is, is not something to be concerned about, but if you become lost in familiar surroundings or are confused about the month and year, this is more serious.

5. Hindered judgement.
If being able to judge the speed of traffic or distance of oncoming cars while driving is becoming more difficult, then this may be a sign that memory and concentration is affected.

6. Problems with abstract thinking.
If numbers on a bank statement mean nothing and you can’t relate to what they are depicting, then this may be a sign of dementia.

7. Misplacing things.
While it’s common for most people to forget where they’ve left something now and again, those with dementia may consistently put things in the wrong place, such as keys in the freezer.

8. Mood swings or unexplained behaviour.
We can all get a little irrational or grumpy from time to time but if someone is suffering rapid mood swings or a complete change in personality, this may be an indicator that something more serious is wrong.

9. Changes in personality.
As we get older, our personalities change but a person with dementia can suffer severe personality changes such as becoming uninhibited and more outgoing than previous.

10. Apathy.
It’s common to get fed up or bored with certain things but someone with dementia may lose all initiative to do things they have previously enjoyed.

Of course, you need to keep things in perspective and recognise that all these behaviours may be a sign of something else. It’s important to consult a doctor and be honest about your general health and wellbeing to ensure a correct diagnosis.

For more information on diagnosing dementia, visit Alzheimer’s Australia.





    COMMENTS

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    Jen
    20th Mar 2014
    12:28pm
    Not to make fun of it (because it's not funny) but just add hot flushes and it sounds like menopause.
    particolor
    10th May 2014
    6:40pm
    Now where did I put that bottle of 1959 Grange ???
    buby
    11th May 2014
    3:11pm
    mm a bit scary, i do that already, forgetting this that and the other. shhhh don;'t tell anybody lol
    bubyshka
    24th May 2014
    1:03pm
    Geez i've had those hot Flushes it was dreadful, having to strip everything off in the middle of the night, then trouble sleeping. Happy to say that now has passed NOw i just don't sleep much??
    Young Simmo
    27th Sep 2014
    6:57pm
    Not to make fun of it (because it's not funny), but at 74 I have forgotten how to make love, but I remember where the beer fridge is, so all is not lost.
    particolor
    27th Sep 2014
    7:27pm
    Do not make fun of Simmo's lost love life !!...Although all that Beer could be a Clue to its Whereabouts ??
    roy
    10th Mar 2016
    2:59pm
    The earliest sign of dementia is when somebody starts voting ALP.
    moke
    25th Sep 2016
    2:34pm
    Particolor most probably not the beer but the fags (whoops I mean cigarettes)
    Young Simmo
    25th Sep 2016
    2:53pm
    Yeh moke, of 45 years non-stop smoking and stopped at 8.30 am, 13th June 2000. I was dreading giving up my 40-50 per day habit. Put my plan into action and it was a piece of cake. 16 years without one and it never enters my mind, until some inconsiderate A***shole comes to within 100 meters of me with one of those dirty stinking things hanging out of his gob. Yes I am a cantankerous, unforgiving, narrow minded ex smoker.
    I now consider smoking cigarretes an indication of a gutless, weak, sooky, inconsiderate waste of space.
    There, now that should get me some new friends.
    WACHA reckon PARTI?
    particolor
    25th Sep 2016
    7:34pm
    I couldn't care what anyone's Personal Habits are ! Its none of my business !! But I do care if they think its a good Idea to force them on us !! :-) :-)

    11th May 2014
    3:09pm
    Some medicines....particularly for the heart can cause symptoms like these
    biddi
    22nd May 2014
    2:26pm
    Apathy has affected me including things that once were funny no longer are eg. certain TV
    programs. This has ocurred since being widowed Also had a bout of Transient Global Amnesia. So not everything, not all changes point to Alzheimer's nor dementia.
    Jen
    22nd May 2014
    3:13pm
    biddi, please tell your GP It wouldn't be surprising under the circumstances, if you are depressed. Best wishes.
    biddi
    22nd May 2014
    4:03pm
    Jen : Thankyou. All is under control - just a matter of time. Biddi x
    bubyshka
    24th May 2014
    1:01pm
    me thinks you best get out and about a bit, join a couple of groups perhaps, this may help greatly. its that good sitting at the computer at all.gl
    buby
    30th Sep 2014
    12:29pm
    no not good sitting at the computer all the time thats for sure bubyshka, get out and about biddi, you'll come good
    particolor
    26th Sep 2014
    10:37am
    I think some of the Team Australia are suffering from Numbers 3 and 4 ??..
    And where have I seen this before ??
    musicveg
    27th Sep 2014
    10:15pm
    People leaving comments here have no heart, if you have or had a family member go through this you would not be joking about it. It is a terrible disease and effecting more and more people. I watched my father die from it, his body was in great shape but once the mind starts to shut down it continues and shuts down the organs in the body. I always thought he would die from heart disease and to watch him go through this was heart breaking. We need more research and better support and care.
    buby
    30th Sep 2014
    12:31pm
    NO music its not funny, and luckily many have family support. but there are many that don't those i feel sorry for!
    Young Simmo
    27th Sep 2014
    11:34pm
    OK particolor it is like this,,,,,, Are you ready?????
    Drink the good old SLOPS 365 days per year or,,,,, Make love once a year????
    When I turn 75 next Jan I have to make a Decision, er Commitment, errrrr, Bugger I forgot.
    Who cares? Life is a ball.
    The EAGLES will get the flag next year and I will be on Richard Bransons trip to Mars and miss the fun. Oh well, you can't win them all, Hic, Hic, Top ya glass up Simmo.
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    7:58am
    So You wont be coming back AY ??
    Say Hullo to Richard for Me !!..
    I notice He's not going ?
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    8:18am
    PS..Mighty Job Hawks !!
    Young Simmo
    30th Sep 2014
    1:49pm
    Yeh, like all the experts I expected the Swans to steal it.

    Now the Hawks have a real challenge, 3 in a row.

    I don't think one single so-called expert tipped the Hawks during that last week.

    You could say the so-called experts are about as reliable as the Weather Bureau.
    particolor
    30th Sep 2014
    5:17pm
    I did if You check back through the Blogs and I'm no Expert !!
    particolor
    30th Sep 2014
    5:18pm
    PS.. And I gave You Stacks of time to get a Bet On !!
    particolor
    4th Nov 2015
    7:39pm
    There was a Picture of Jared Haynes on the cover of the Sunday Paper wearing Number 38 !! I said I cant back Number 38 in the Melbourne Cup ? I'll cut it in Half... 19 :-)
    unicorn
    28th Sep 2014
    11:47am
    Makes it easy to tell what so called sport you are intrested in Particolour yuk I say, bloody Ariel pingpong.
    ..
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    11:57am
    I don't follow any sport I Hate it all !!!!! It Clogs the Air Waves and it should have its own Independent Channel so I don't have to watch any of the Crap !! But Good Luck to anyone who is Hooked on it !!..
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    12:23pm
    PS ..Those who only live for sport should get FoxTel or something, and sit on the couch from Daylight till Dusk Scoffing Beer and Gobbling Chips, till they are Fat Old and Ugly !!
    Have a Nice Day !!
    Young Simmo
    28th Sep 2014
    12:56pm
    particolor, it sounds like a GOOD DAY FOR YOU IS EAting your Weeties without choking.
    Bugger that Caps lock thingy.
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    1:52pm
    Simmo..Not at All !! I just thought You needed a Rebel Rouser to Brighten up the Blog a Tad !! .. Or is it an Early Sign of Dementia ??..
    I thought that Cap Locks Stuttery thing belonged to Meim ??
    particolor
    28th Sep 2014
    1:58pm
    Go and look at the IS Blog !! Some Folks are getting Darned Unsociable on it !!..But is has Brightened it up on this Sunny Sunday !!..
    PlanB
    6th Aug 2016
    7:52am
    I am with you Particolor, sport on TV drives me mad -- and so does anyone that can talk only about it.

    Drives me crazy when they take other programs OFF because of bloody sport.
    particolor
    6th Aug 2016
    7:48pm
    They did it again tonight :-( :-( They shoved the Half a Billion Dollar Aussie contribution on !! YaY !! Yes the OLYMPICS !! :-)
    I'm going to bed :-)

    24th Jul 2015
    9:53am
    We all forget things but if you remember you forgot I think you are ok :)

    25th Aug 2015
    7:14am
    Nowaday, problem loss in memory increase seriously. The reasons maybe are from works, noise, enviroment, ... and make people more stress.
    Marvel future fight hack
    Supernan
    21st Sep 2015
    10:05am
    Going on these symptoms, have had demetia all my life ! ! Never know day of the week, or dates, cant learn tel no's - even mine. Have to think a bit for my birth year, how long married, anniversary date. Dont remember faces unless see someone a lot. Often say incorrect words !

    But never forget a voice, know the meanings of long words, learn languages easily & apart from those things listed above, have a brilliant memory !

    Standard joke in our family is only number I know by heart is my husbands Credit Card !

    Seriously, medication does have a big effect on memory. Statins do it & methotrexate. Also grief, trauma, shock & pain.

    My Dad & Father in Law both had dementia so its definitely not a joke & its very sad for families so does have to be taken seriously. All the same loved all the jokes ! Laugh when you can I say !
    Supernan
    21st Sep 2015
    10:18am
    They also said a symptom is getting lost & confused about where you are ! Well, round here, if you dont go somewhere for a month or so, by the time you do they'll have built a new roundabout, built a supermarket where the chemist was, diverted traffic, etc... No wonder we're confused !

    Like someone else said the constant noise also can be confusing, loud speakers, loud music, heavy traffic, screaming kids running wild, people shouting into mobiles - I get so I just cant think, & say "Lets go home !"

    We're expected to do so much On Line but everytime I go to Centrelink or Tax Office or Medicare, they have changed something !

    Add to this aging eyesight, hearing, memory & bodies, its a wonder we're not all screaming wrecks !
    particolor
    21st Sep 2015
    10:31am
    So I take that as a Change is NOT As Good as a Holiday !! :-(
    catsahoy
    22nd Sep 2015
    4:07pm
    i was a bit embarrased at the chemist a few weeks ago, filling my name and date in prescriptions, i put th date as 1939, oh well, at least i remembered when i was born,
    particolor
    22nd Sep 2015
    6:50pm
    Never mind :-) In 24 years time You can write 2039 and all will be well ! :-) Good Luck ! :-)
    buby
    10th Oct 2016
    5:10pm
    yes your very right there supernan
    Supernan
    14th Jan 2016
    4:03pm
    My hubby has always had short term memory loss ! Mercury poisoning as a baby.
    Fibromyalgia & Methtrexate turns my brain into mush ! So how will I know the difference !
    The Bronze Anzac
    16th Feb 2016
    1:03pm
    Can a dramatic deteriorating in one's spelling be connected to dementia ? I have found over the last few years, (I'm 72), that my spelling, especially with long words that require a "double" or "single" letter has deteriorated quite quickly. For instance words like: Illustrate - one or two l's. Tattoo - one or two t's. And unsuccessful - one or two c's,s's & l's.
    Young Simmo
    16th Feb 2016
    4:45pm
    G'day Bronzy, I am 76 and can relate to exactly what you have just described. For that reason when writing stuff like I am doing right now, I keep a blank new e-mail page in the back ground, and copy and paste to it for a spell check. For copy I click Ctrl-C, and for paste I click Ctrl-V. It only takes a couple of seconds to do, and you know you are in the right paddock.
    roy
    10th Mar 2016
    3:01pm
    Voting ALP and having lots of tattoos is an early sign of dementia
    buby
    11th Mar 2016
    12:45pm
    Just having too many tattoo's to me says you have too much money and not enough brains!!!
    Nothing wrong with ALP, that i'm sure the LIB won't fix, and visa versa!! Both as bad as one another
    Young Simmo
    11th Mar 2016
    4:26pm
    To me, "Voting ALP and having lots of tattoos", is a sign of a bludging lazy unionist, who expects all the lib supporters to pay your bills.
    WOCHA rekon Parti?
    particolor
    11th Mar 2016
    8:03pm
    I dont recon anything anymore they are just a Pack of Greedy *******
    The whole lot of them and the sooner they are all replaced THE BETTER !! :-( :-(
    PS.. GRRRrrr !! :-(
    Rosret
    9th Apr 2016
    7:08am
    That's why I do all the puzzles on this site and respond to the comment section. I think the brain chucks stuff out when its not needed or used and if you aren't writing much anymore then it does put all the words on the backburner.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2016
    4:57pm
    Don't worry Bronzy until you start spelling words the way they shood bee !! Byfunow !! :-)
    Young Simmo
    9th Apr 2016
    5:23pm
    I was going to make a comment but I have run out of time, too much to do before I watch THE WONDERFULL WEST COAST EAGLES, bury the poor old DOCKERS.
    If you don't see me in here tomorrow, you will know why, the DOCKERS got lucky.
    particolor
    9th Apr 2016
    5:39pm
    How can we fly like Eagles when were surrounded by Turkeys ?? :-)
    Young Simmo
    10th Apr 2016
    12:37am
    OK that wasn't too hard, and considering the Umpires obvious love of the Dockers you have to wonder how much money the Umpires had on the Dockers at the local TAB????? Also the commentators obvious love of the Dockers made me SICK.
    buby
    10th Oct 2016
    5:14pm
    "I was going to make a comment but I have run out of time, too much to do before I watch THE WONDERFULL WEST COAST EAGLES, bury the poor old DOCKERS.
    If you don't see me in here tomorrow, you will know why, the DOCKERS got lucky."

    Particularly simmo i hope they all get buried soon.
    I thorough Loathe footie Point Blank i would rather watch the gardening show. :)
    Abby
    27th Oct 2016
    4:38pm
    Spot on Fred :)
    buby
    25th May 2018
    5:21pm
    "I was going to make a comment but I have run out of time, too much to do before I watch THE WONDERFULL WEST COAST EAGLES, bury the poor old DOCKERS.
    If you don't see me in here tomorrow, you will know why, the DOCKERS got lucky."

    Particularly simmo i hope they all get buried soon.
    I thorough Loathe footie Point Blank i would rather watch the gardening show.
    AND WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHO WROTE THE ABOVE, CAUSE IT WASN'T ME. CAUSE I DON'T GIVE A BUGGER ABOUT EAGLES OR THE DOCKERS. SO WHO GOT INTO MY ACCOUNT!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE?>>>/
    Rosret
    9th Apr 2016
    7:05am
    I like the head made out of trees - that is such a good description in an image. You forgot the stories they tell. "I left your birthday present upstairs but I just can't remember where the stairs are." 1. The apartment has no stairs 2. It isn't my birthday. However what is rather lovely is that person wants to give me a gift even if they don't have that secret stash anymore.
    particolor
    10th Apr 2016
    6:36pm
    I'm surprised You even remembered to Post that ?? :-)
    Pamiea
    29th Aug 2016
    11:05am
    I have recently committed myself to a 4-1/2 year trial to assist with dementia research here in Perth as I have a 94 year old mother with it, a dear friend about to die any day with it and know of lots of other sad cases. I feel I am doing my bit.
    Abby
    27th Oct 2016
    4:40pm
    Good on you Pamiea ... this is very generous of you to do that.
    Martin Rael
    23rd May 2018
    12:16am
    It's so sad I have some of these, going to ask for help


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