It is estimated that around 55 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, most of whom are 65 years or older. If you have an aging loved one, you may be concerned about possible dementia. Dr. Ashok J Bharucha, a late-life mental disorders and dementia specialist, wants to alert you to some potential warning signs that your loved one may be developing dementia. Read on to learn more about these signs.
Ashok Bharucha Explains that Memory Loss is a Key Sign of Early Dementia
Dr. Ashok J Bharucha states that memory loss is one of the earliest signs of dementia. At some point or another, we all struggle with memory loss. We may forget where we took off our shoes or where our keys are. These types of problems are relatively common and should not raise red flags. However, if your loved one is struggling to remember things in their day-to-day life, such as routes they walk daily, people they see often, or basic hygiene tasks, you should make an appointment for your loved one to be seen by a geriatric specialist. Typically, the individual with dementia, over time, loses the ability to retain new information for more than a few minutes.
Dr. Ashok J Bharucha Describes How Problems With Language and Communication Can Be a Dementia Warning Sign
Ashok Bharucha explains that another possible early warning sign of dementia in the elderly can be problems with language or communication. Is your loved one struggling to find the words they are looking for when speaking to you? Or are they using words out of context when they usually do not? Or are they speaking slower, almost like they have difficulty putting a sentence together? Do they understand you as they did before? Does their verbal output make sense? These can all be signs of possible early dementia.
Ashok Bharucha States That Changes in Personality, Mood, and Behavior Can Be an Early Dementia Warning Sign
Dr. Ashok J Bharucha says that the final warning sign you should be aware of regarding early dementia is changes in your loved one’s personality, mood, and/or behavior. Sometimes, your loved one may not be able to communicate to you what they are thinking, feeling, or struggling with. This can be frustrating, scary, annoying, or may anger them. In turn, their personality, mood, and behavior can shift. If you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior, mood, or personality, and you do not know why it may be, it’s time to make an appointment with their doctor.
Ashok Bharucha states that most dementias are progressive. However, identifying it early can help your loved one get the care they need to ensure they are safe and adequately cared for as their dementia progresses. If you notice that your loved one is suffering from memory loss, is having language or communication issues, or is just not behaving like themselves, it may be time to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor to discuss possible dementia.