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Health and Medical

Early Stages of Dementia: 5 Things You Need to Know

Understanding what the early stages of dementia are can make a bigger difference than you’re thinking in the life of the affected party and those closest to them. For starters, dementia is often confused with Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60-80 percent of the symptoms.

But dementia can come from other sources as well, and it’s the informed patient (or patient family member) who can educate themselves for the best course of action. Let’s look at the common early-stage symptoms in more detail.

1. Short Term Memory Problems

Many people experience brief instances of short-term memory loss. If it’s occasional, there’s usually nothing to worry about. However, routinely forgetting what has happened while watching a movie or television show can be a sign of bigger issues.

Other ways that short-term memory loss might manifest include forgetting important dates (i.e., birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, appointments) and losing one’s train of thought in the middle of a conversation. When answering what are the early stages of dementia, these areas are generally good places to focus.

2. Mood Swings

Another of the early-stage dementia symptoms to watch for are mood swings. These can come about through frustration.

You realize things are getting more difficult as it relates to remembering words and other everyday activities. As a result, you lash out when others have a hard time following you. If you notice yourself or a loved one doing this, see a doctor immediately.

3. Direction Issues

Also noticeable among the early onset dementia stages is directional challenges. You might get disoriented when walking along streets that you’ve been down dozens of times before.

Perhaps you feel lost when the GPS is unavailable on your phone. While many people have trouble with directions, in general, it’s most concerning as a dementia sign when there has been a sudden change from understanding to confusion.

4. Repetition

During the very early stages of dementia, a subject might begin repeating tasks they’ve already done throughout the day. These tasks can be anything from shaving to running the dishwasher a second time on a clean load.

It can become more concerning when it comes to taking medications. If the subject is doubling or tripling up on their medications because they can’t remember having taken them, it can create an overdose or toxicity issue.

5. Struggles With Change

Change can be difficult for many people, whether requiring early-stage dementia care or not. They get stuck in the comfort of their routines, and any deviation from that causes the brain to reconfigure itself around the “new norm.”

If you’re experiencing struggles with change, then you may not require dementia care yet, but do pay attention to how often you’re having these struggles and what they’re over. Consistent issues with adaptability can impact your personal and professional lives.

See a Doctor If You Recognize These Early Stages of Dementia

Noticing the early stages of dementia is important for getting a patient the care they need to slow down the process. There isn’t a cure for dementia, but proper care and treatment can extend one’s memories and quality time with family. For more health and wellness articles, check out some of our additional posts!

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