When it comes to dementia and cognitive decline, knowing the signs early is extremely important. Currently, there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, knowing what to look out for can help you keep you or loved one safe, get access to resources earlier, and help increase overall quality of life. Here at Heritage Hills, our affordable memory care in Oceanside has taken the time to compile a list of some of the most common dementia signs you need to be aware of. While only a doctor can diagnose cognitive decline, this blog will provide information that will help you know what to keep track of prior to booking an appointment with your physician.
Sign #1: Frequent memory loss.
Everyone struggles with forgetfulness from time to time. For example, you might forget where you placed your keys or struggle to remember where you parked your car while visiting the mall. However, if you are facing frequent forgetfulness, including memory loss, this could be a big red flag.
Here are a few examples of concerning memory loss:
- Do you often forget about important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries, when you were always good at keeping track of them before?
- Are you forgetting to take important, life-saving medication on a regular basis?
- Do you struggle to remember to turn off the stove, curling iron, or other potentially hazardous household items?
- Are you frequently missing scheduled appointments, such as with your doctor or dentist?
- Do you sometimes end up at a place, such as the grocery store or library, and forget how you got there?
- Is it becoming harder to remember new names and faces? Are you forgetting the names of people you have known for a considerable amount of time?
These are just some of the questions that you can ask yourself to help you determine the severity of your forgetfulness. If you find that you answered ‘yes’ to any number of questions, it could be time to consult with a doctor.
Sign #2: Difficulties planning and problem solving.
Another sign of dementia is having difficulties following a plan or problem solving. If you aren’t sure if this applies to you, consider what following a recipe looks like for you. Do you struggle with completing the tasks in order? Do you frequently have to check and recheck the portion amounts or measurements? If so, this could be a sign that you need to schedule a visit with your doctor.
Also, a person with dementia will also have trouble with problem solving, such as calculating bills. Keeping track of numbers and data can feel like a chore. Many residents who come to live at our affordable memory care in Oceanside have stated that they have fallen behind in bills or their finances. This can be dangerous because if left unattended, scammers can take advantage of those with dementia.
Sign #3: Feeling confused about the date and time
One of the key indicators of dementia is when someone feels disoriented or confused about the date and time. They might have a hard time keeping track of the passage of time, remembering what month or season it is, and constantly forgetting the day of the week. On top of that, those with dementia tend to struggle with orientation or their sense of direction. This can result in them getting lost and becoming confused and anxious.
Dementia wandering is a huge concern for older adults living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, especially in winter and summer. Extreme hot and extreme cold can lead to an increased risk of death due to hypothermia and heat stroke. If you or your loved one is exhibiting dementia wandering, it’s vital to come up with a safety plan as soon as possible.
Sign #4: Difficulties communicating both orally and in writing.
As dementia progresses, you or your loved one might have issues with communicating. This includes struggling to engage in conversation, forgetting the names of people and places, or having a hard time maintaining more than just a basic vocabulary. For example, they may use substitutional phrases to describe common household objects, such as say ‘food scoop’ instead of ‘spoon’. Other times, they may simply call it ‘that thing’.
Additionally, one’s written communication may worsen as dementia progresses as well. Their handwriting will likely grow to become less legible and their grasp on spelling and grammar may decline, too. Unfortunately, difficulties with communication is a key red flag of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sign #5: Frequent mood swings and personality changes.
A senior who has dementia will struggle with emotional regulation or experience personality changes. While slowing down or changing slightly with age as normal, drastic shifts in their mood or personality can serve as another red flag. You may notice yourself or your senior loved one becoming more irritable, impatient, anxious, or fearful.
Also, depression is another common symptom of dementia. Depression often manifests as social isolation, disinterest in activities and hobbies, lack of appetite, decreased energy, and hopelessness. If any of these symptoms are occuring, it’s time to talk to a doctor and begin researching various options for affordable memory care in Oceanside.
Contact Heritage Hills Today!
Getting diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be a scary and life changing thing. However, rest assured that you don’t have to face it alone! There are many resources available to help you or your senior loved one maintain a high quality of life and receive the specialized care you deserve. If your home isn’t a safe environment for someone with dementia, turning to the experts at a memory care senior living community is your best bet.
Here at Heritage Hills, our affordable memory care in Oceanside specifically caters to seniors who have been diagnosed with cognitive impairment. In fact, memory care is all we do! Our highly trained and caring staff is there to provide care and support 24/7, including awake staff at night. On top of that, our facility has been designed with safety in mind and it’s our goal to keep our residents safe and secure while fostering a place that feels like home.
To learn more about our community or to book a tour, contact us today! We can’t wait to show you all that Heritage Hills has to offer.