If someone asked you how to spot the early signs of dementia what would your answer be? One of the most common answers would be memory loss. However, there are so many more symptoms that you might be missing.
Dementia is the overall term which has over 200 subtypes. Some forms are more common than others. The top five are Alzheimers disease, Vascular dementia, Lewy Bodies dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.
Dementia is the biggest killer in the UK. Sadly, there are currently over 850,000 people diagnosed with some form of dementia in the UK alone. Its a disease that doesn’t discriminate and whilst it can affect you at any age, it’s more common in the over 65s. One notable person who suffered from dementia was the late Barbara Windsor. Despite suffering with the disease herself, she campaigned to raise awareness and much needed funds for dementia research.
With people now living longer, dementia is on the rise. Its estimated that by 2025, over one million people will be living with some form of dementia. This is a terrifying thought so please familiarise yourself with some of the early symptoms.
What are the common early signs?
Despite there being so many different forms of dementia, there are some common early signs shown throughout the majority of types. Its important that you know them so that you can spot the signs in loved ones or yourself. Whilst there is currently no cure for dementia, spotting these signs and getting a confirmed diagnosis can be so beneficial. There is a great support system out there that will help guide you through each of the stages of dementia. I wrote a guest post for Kayleigh Zara earlier in the year all about how to cope with grieving for someone twice. In that post I go into a lot more depth about the different stages of dementia, so please give that a read too.
Someone with the early signs of dementia may have difficulty with the following:
- Memory loss
- Mental sharpness and quickness
- They may struggle with speaking, may use words incorrectly or might have difficulty in understanding things you say
- Suffer from mood swings
- Lack of concentration
- Find it difficult to do certain movements
- Find it difficult to do daily activities
- Suffer from hallucinations
- Find social situations more difficult
- Loose interest in doing their usual activities
You may also notice that they are asking the same questions repeatedly or are perhaps forgetting people’s names.
Why is it important to know these signs?
It is important to get help if you spot any of these signs. Whilst there is currently no cure, an early diagnosis can slow down the disease. It can mean that you live a more normal life for longer and you can get any support you may need.
I have been on this dementia journey with my nan for over five years. In that time, I’ve had highs and lows but have found so much support too. Its part of the reason why I want to raise more awareness and donations. If you or a loved one have had a diagnosis, whether in the early or later stages, please know that there is support out there for you.
There are some amazing Facebook groups that support dementia sufferers and their families. Its a space where you can ask questions, no matter how silly they might feel, because they all understand. I also want you to know that I am always here for you. Feel free to ask questions below, or contact me on social media. I’d like to help you as much as I can, even if you just need a listening and understanding ear.
I hope you have found this post helpful in some way. If you take one thing away from this post, I hope it is that it can happen to any of us. I would urge you to share it with your followers, friends and family. The more people that know about these early signs, the more lives we can improve.