Dementia is a medical term used to describe a host of symptoms which affect your memory, social skills, and cognitive function severely enough to impact your daily life. It is not uncommon to occasionally have trouble finding the right word to say, or remembering where you put things, especially when one crosses the age of 45. However, if these incidents keep occurring more and more frequently, and there is also an impact on one’s cognitive abilities, it might be a sign of something more serious happening to one’s brain.
It is important to remember that dementia itself is not actually a disease, it is usually a sign of some other underlying health problem. According to a report, in India, over 5.3 million people over the age of 60 have dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is usually the leading cause of dementia, but there are a few other health conditions that mimic dementia symptoms, check them out here.
What are the some of the signs you should watch out for? Read below to find out.
Difficulty performing everyday tasks
People afflicted with dementia usually find day to day tasks such as following a recipe, keeping track of information, more difficult than others. Concentration levels are usually affected and thus they find it hard to focus on one task for too long (or completing the task itself).
Asking the same question over and over, or narrating the same incidents multiple times in a short span of time is usually a tell-tale sign of dementia creeping in.
If a person has problems joining in, or following the flow of a conversation, it is consistent with common dementia symptoms. Stopping abruptly while speaking, having difficulty thinking of the next word to say, these are all signs of onset of dementia.
People with dementia find it difficult to relate with visual cues and usually get lost, as they can’t figure out where they need to go. Wandering out of the house with no clear reason as to why, and then having trouble getting back, these are common signs of a person with dementia.
Change in Personality
There is a very noticeable change in the personality of a person suffering from dementia. They usually become more fearful, confused, anxious and also suspicious, making up scenarios in their head and believing it to be real. There is also a distinct loss of interest in activities they otherwise may have liked doing.
Confusion with place and time
One worrisome sign to look out for is when a person is disoriented with time and place. Forgetting what day of the week it is, where they physically are and how they got there, are very common symptoms of dementia.
If you find yourself or a loved one experiencing any of the above mentioned signs, it is important to go to your primary care physician and disclose the same to them. A neurologist would be able to give you a more concrete and definitive diagnosis after conducting necessary tests.
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