Dementia is a progressive condition that affects millions around the world. It is a term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive function, including memory loss, difficulty with language and communication, and changes in mood and behaviour. While dementia is often associated with the elderly, it is not a normal part of the ageing process. Instead, it has a profound impact on the lives of those who are affected and their loved ones.
If you are concerned that your ageing parents might be suffering from dementia, keep an eye out for these early warning signs.
1. Memory Loss That Affects Day-To-Day Abilities
Although occasional memory lapses are normal, they can be a cause for concern when it starts to impact day-to-day abilities. For instance, your loved one may forget to turn off the stove, leave the house without their keys, or miss important appointments. Struggling to remember the names of familiar people or places and difficulty recalling recent events or conversations are common as well. You might also notice them relying more on memory aids such as notes, reminders, or asking the same questions repeatedly.
While memory loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including medication side effects, depression, or vitamin deficiency, a medical professional would be able to determine if their condition is a sign of dementia or caused by other underlying conditions.
2. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks
Having trouble performing familiar, everyday tasks is one of the most common early signs of dementia. This can manifest in various ways, and it is essential to be mindful of the different types of issues your loved one may be experiencing. For instance, they may struggle to follow a recipe they have been making for years, forget the ingredients required for a familiar dish, or experience problems measuring the ingredients accurately.
Similarly, they may also encounter complications with tasks that require multiple steps and must be completed in a specific order, such as getting dressed or preparing a meal.
3. Problems With Language
As dementia progresses, your loved ones may develop language impairments. Some of the warning signs include finding the right words or forgetting common words. They may also struggle to follow conversations or repeat themselves frequently, making it challenging for them to communicate effectively with others.
The problem associated with dementia is caused by changes in the brain that affect the ability to process and retrieve information. As the disease deteriorates, these changes may often lead to frustration and feelings of isolation.
4. Disorientation To Time and Place
Loved ones suffering from dementia in Singapore may show signs of disorientation, especially to time and place, which can significantly impact their daily life. You might notice them becoming confused about what day it is, forgetting important events, or even having trouble keeping track of their daily schedules. Distinguishing between day and night becomes problematic as well, disrupting their sleep patterns and leading to increased confusion and other health issues.
Most importantly, do be aware should they feel lost in familiar environments such as their home, neighbourhood or even places that are visited frequently. This can result in a great deal of anxiety and stress for both the individual and their family, especially if they are unable to find their way back home.
If you notice any of these warning signs, seek medical attention immediately. With early intervention and proper dementia care, your loved ones can receive the help they need to maintain their quality of life and independence for as long as possible.
As a professional dementia nursing home in Singapore, our healthcare team is dedicated to providing quality care for your loved ones. We offer long-term, short-term and even dementia daycare services at our homes and centres.