The best way to determine whether your loved one is showing the signs of dementia is to have them visit a physician. A neurologist, geriatrician, or psychiatrist can provide the proper diagnosis. The National Institute on Aging recommends contacting the neurology department of a local medical school. A family history of dementia is a significant risk factor.
Early signs of dementia may include difficulties with judgment, vision, and understanding new concepts and information. In addition, a person may become less sociable, avoiding activities that draw attention, and may become reclusive. Other symptoms of dementia include changes in personality and mood swings. For instance, a person may become fearful, suspicious, or depressed. They may also lose track of time.
Another common symptom of dementia is difficulty making decisions. Patients with this disease are unable to use judgment and rational thought processes to make decisions. While a person suffering from dementia may not make bad decisions, they may find it difficult to follow directions and plan ahead. Additionally, people with dementia may struggle to complete familiar tasks such as chores, work, or leisure activities.
Communication problems are another common symptom of dementia. A person with dementia might have trouble joining a conversation, or develop the habit of stopping mid-sentence. Occasionally, a person with dementia may lose their sense of direction and lose their balance. A person with dementia may also have trouble reading or comprehending written material.