How To Recognize Signs of Dementia

bigstock-Senior-Couple-Sitting-Outdoors-3916926-300x200During the close family gatherings you had during this past holiday season you may have noticed a depreciation of cognitive abilities in a loved one. The early signs of dementia are often difficult to detect or could be misinterpreted, for many of them are common expectations of aging.

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate state between developing dementia and forgetfulness due to aging. The first thing to look for is forgetfulness, which often does not stand out because this is a common vulnerability for the elderly. According to the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, the most typical memory complaints include difficulty with the following: names of people, the location of recently placed items, and conversational skills. Other signs of mild cognitive impairment include difficulty recalling recent events or conversations, multi-tasking, and problem solving. Yet, it is important to note that despite its association with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, this intermediate stage will not necessarily develop into dementia.

The later stages of dementia can be distressing for families, and assistance may be required. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, people in the later stages of dementia will likely experience severe memory loss and may have difficulty recognizing friends and family. However, they are likely to still appreciate stimuli such as music, scent and touch. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and there are more specific warning signs for its onset.

The Quad-City Times summarizes the signs to look for in terms of assessing Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Forgetfulness- similarly to the condition of mild cognitive impairment, the most common sign of Alzheimer’s disease is forgetfulness, especially about recent events and dates.
  • Difficulty with decision-making, problem solving, or familiar tasks at home, such as cooking from a recipe or playing a game.
  • Confusion about the passage of time and places. For example, one may become suddenly bewildered about his or her whereabouts.
  • Vision and perception problems, with difficulty reading or classifying space or color.
  • Tendency to remove oneself from social activities and lose interest in his or her hobbies or work.
  • Changes in personality- people with Alzheimer’s disease are susceptible to anxiety and depression and can become easily confused, upset, and fearful.

It is important to detect Alzheimer’s so that one with this disease can receive proper care. While family members and friends may want to be there to assist as much as possible, it may be difficult to offer the extent of the help one needs and deserves. Utilizing Aarris Homecare’s services for companionship and assistance is an excellent alternative to uprooting a loved one and sending them to a facility.



  • UCSF Memory and Aging Center:
  • Alzheimer’s Society:
  • Quad-City Times:
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