At What Stage Of Dementia Does Sundowning Occur?

at what stage of dementia does sundowning occur

We get many questions asking at what stage of dementia does sundowning occur? Unfortunately, it is a syndrome unavoidable for many.

Sundowning MOSTLY AFFECTS people with middle-stage or advanced dementia.

Individuals living with dementia may start to exhibit changes in behavior in the evening hours as the sun starts to set.

This type of behavior change is referred to as sundowning.

Generally, sundowning can be described as a GROUP of SYMPTOMS that may include confusion, agitation, irritability, and restlessness.

Affected persons will typically start to experience these symptoms around dinner time.

It can continue into the night.

Cause Of Sundowning

cause of sundowning
The cause of sundowning is not yet clear.

Researchers, however, believe that it is a result of a disruption in circadian rhythms which is the human natural body clock.

Circadian rhythms signal a person when it is time to sleep at night and when it is time to wake up in the morning.

If there is a disruption in this rhythm, it can be FRUSTRATING and IRRITATING which can make an individual act out through changed behavior.

Several factors may contribute to sundowning and these may include:

  • End-of-day exhaustion (both physical and mental)
  • Reduced lighting which can result in increased shadows causing persons with dementia to misinterpret things they see. This can make an individual feel more afraid and confused.
  • Disorientation when a person cannot separate dreams from reality when they are sleeping.
  • Less need to sleep
  • Lots of noise
  • Loss of routine
  • Prescription medication wearing off

Coping Strategies

If a person with dementia is experiencing sundowning, there are a couple of coping mechanisms they can use to help MAKE the situation better.

Keeping the Living Space Well-Lit

Adequate lighting especially in the evening can help reduce agitation which occurs when surroundings are unfamiliar or dark.

Maintain a Schedule

At what stage of dementia does sundowning occur?
People with dementia tend to do better when adhering to regular routines.

It is, therefore, important for caregivers to encourage affected individuals to maintain regular routines of sleeping, waking up, and meals.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Sleeping Environment

An individual’s sleeping area should be as comfortable as possible.

This should include ensuring the bedroom has comfortable temperatures.

To INCREASE safety, caregivers can offer nightlights and make sure that window and door locks are secure.

Motion detectors and door sensors can alert loved ones when a person with dementia is wandering.

Plan Active Days

Persons with dementia who rest most of their days will have trouble falling asleep at night.

Discourage afternoon napping and instead schedule meaningful activities that affected individuals will ENJOY.

Where possible, include regular exercise and bathing in the early afternoon or morning so that the person can have a restful night.

Consult a Doctor

consult a doctor
At times, persons with dementia may have to seek professional assistance to help with sundowning.

The professional may help to identify the cause of sleep problems and come up with appropriate solutions.

Many physicians will encourage the use of non-drug measures instead of medicines. There are many alternative therapies that can contribute.

Closing Thoughts – At what stage of dementia does sundowning occur?


Research indicates that sundowning often occurs during the middle or late stages of dementia. Knowing this provides clarity for those wondering at what stage of dementia sundowning occurs.

Carers of people with dementia should be well-equipped to deal with these new developments by applying coping strategies to help loved ones effectively deal with sundowning.

By recognizing the timing and knowing the triggers of sundowning, carers can provide the support needed. This ensures the comfort and safety for patients.

12 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms 2024

frontotemporal dementia symptoms

We will look at the most common frontotemporal dementia symptoms as they can vary quite a bit from person to person.

Some are pretty similar to other types of dementia, but the treatment can be different due to the disease affecting different areas of the brain.

But what exactly is frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and why it occurs?

First and foremost, frontotemporal dementia is an umbrella term for different conditions. We know three main types of FTD:

Moreover, FTD increases nerve loss in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The former is the area behind your forehead and the latter the section behind the ears.

A person with FTD mainly shows signs that are related to behavior, personality and communication/language which worsen over time. In the later stages of frontotemporal dementia, a person needs 24-hour care.

Today, we will investigate different frontotemporal dementia symptoms that caregivers, friends and family members should be aware of.

Note that an individual can have a mixture of two or more symptoms which cause difficulty prescribing the right treatment.

At the time of writing this, FTD and any other type of dementia still have no cure. However, there are different behavioral and lifestyle changes that we can implement to reduce the risk of dementia.

12 Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms and Signs

1. Apathy

apathy frontotemporal dementia symptoms
It is easy to notice this change in a person that was once an outgoing, active and friendly individual with a lot of friends and rich social life.

However, all of a sudden, they lose interest in other people, events and friends. A person with frontotemporal dementia, as well, starts to lose motivation for hobbies and other activities that he or she once loved.

When you ask this person why they do not do activities anymore he or she just doesn’t have the motivation to do anything anymore. Also, a person doesn’t have any bad feelings toward friends and society just doesn’t want to be connected with them anymore.

As a result, they like to spend time alone. An apathetic person has an absence of interest in social, spiritual, physical, emotional and family life.

2. Lack of sympathy and empathy

lack of sympathy and empathy
A person with frontotemporal dementia symptoms puts himself first. He or she has difficulties to see and understand the needs of other people (his caregivers, family members, friends).

They show less personal warmth and love even to his wife or her husband. Besides, a person can show no interest in their children or grandchildren.

Which can be difficult to understand and to accept for family members.

Moreover, a person can be less socially active or doesn’t show any interest in the social environment, events or celebrations.

This behavior can make the person appear harmful or selfish and has to be understood as illness and not as an unfriendly attitude or hostility.

3. Repetitive behavior

repetitive behaviors a symptom of frontotemporal dementia
A person can develop a behavior pattern or gestures that are repeated many times in a day. A person can also start hoarding stuff and doesn’t want to throw away their belongings.

Especially disturbing are used wipes, old food and empty food packing. Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is when a person repeats phrases and questions multiple times in just one hour.

Some behaviors can become almost ritualized and cannot be interrupted. If a caregiver doesn’t do something like the ritual a person with frontotemporal dementia developed, the person with the condition can get very angry and upset.

For example, if the food isn’t served like the person with frontotemporal dementia expects, he or she can become a nuisance.

4. Poor planning and trouble making decisions

poor planning and trouble making decision
Another of the frontotemporal dementia symptoms is with organizing and planning. Difficulties may be first noticed at work if a person is still employed. A retired person can show a lack of organizing and managing their finances.

As an example, house expenses and bills aren’t paid in time, or the wrong amount is paid. A person can be confused with the understanding of the value of money and can waste it for unnecessary things.

Another common frontotemporal dementia symptom is the difficulty of making decisions. More importantly, the decision to actually executing an activity or task. On the other hand, they might have trouble considering what should be the best thing to do in a particular situation.

It is important for a person to have a caregiver, family member, friend, that helps him to understand the value of the decision and what should be the best for them to do.

5. Loss of communication

loss of communication
A person with frontotemporal dementia can experience loss of expression. Communication can be hard to understand with a lot of errors in grammar. A person can be really slow at speaking and experiences difficulties to find the right word and meaning of a sentence.

You can notice that an individual is leaving out small words in the sentence such as the, from, to, etc. It becomes challenging to understand what they try to say when the words are mispronounced or wrong.

You have to be attentive to understand a person with frontotemporal dementia who has symptoms of loss of communication.

Don’t argue with a person about errors in grammar and just listen attentively and connect the story in a whole tale with a sense of its potential.

After some time, it gets easier to understand the meaning even if the words are wrong and are missing.

6. Memory

Common frontotemporal dementia symptom is connected with memory. One of the first signs is when a person’s vocabulary gets inadequate.

Additionally, a person can be confused about everyday objects and doesn’t recognize items that he/she uses, eats and see every day.

A person can be asking about the meaning of familiar words (what is “glass,” what is “an apple,” etc.). Similarly, a person doesn’t recognize familiar people, family and friends.

Loss of short-term memory can be noticed when a person doesn’t recollect what he ate one hour ago, if he already was in the shop that day or if he/she had any family visits in the morning.

7. Agitated behavior

agitated behavior
The more that the brain becomes damaged, the more agitated or aggressive a person can become. In this stage of frontotemporal dementia, a person can be hard to understand, has limited communication and poor focus.

He or she can become angry or aggressive by the smallest things that do not go according to their plan. This could be a simple misunderstanding in conversation.

Or if a family member thinks or wants to prove that the person with dementia is behaving weird or inappropriate.

Try to understand that the brain is damaged and that person can’t act and behave as he/she used to.

A person starts to do everyday things in a routine and gets upset if the routine is broken. In this stage, a person will likely need a full-time caregiver.

8. Poor personal hygiene

poor personal hygiene
A person with frontotemporal dementia symptoms can start to diminish personal hygiene, and doesn’t want to take regular showers, clean teeth and wash clothes.

Clothes seem to a person with frontotemporal dementia always clean and he/she does not want to change them even if they are full of stains.

Showers start to become unnecessary and complicated. Plus, the cleanliness of the bathroom and living space becomes poor and dirty.

It is necessary that family members check if the bathroom and kitchen are clean and safe to use if a person is living alone.

9. Movement problems

movement problems
Common symptoms of frontotemporal dementia are those that relate to the movement of a person. A person can develop tremors and can’t stop trembling, which leads to incapability to take care of his/her basic needs in everyday life tasks.

A problem can start with an eating disorder due to the difficulty of swallowing of food and liquids.

Not enough food can lower energy and consequently, lack of active movement.

With no activity, human muscles start to weaken which can lead to problems with balance. A person can easily fall and lose stability while standing.

Try to help a person with movement problems to stay active and walk at least ten minutes a day if possible so that some muscles will stay fresh and preserved.

10. Change of personality

change of personality
The characteristics and personality of a person with dementia can change with a damaged brain. Alterations can be so severe that the person that you once knew doesn’t exist anymore.

We simply have to accept a new personality that an individual has developed.

Remember that the changes, especially if they are negative, are due to the disease. A person with frontotemporal dementia is not trying to hurt you, or be negative and ungrateful.

Set reasonable expectations and don’t demand behavior that a person with frontotemporal dementia cannot provide.

If personality changes are so severe and sudden that you cannot cope with them, contact a physician for help.

11. Sudden speech problems

sudden speech problems
It is more likely that a person with FTD will have issues with speech compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. This results in one of quite common frontotemporal dementia symptoms.

A person has trouble not just remembering names and words but making sense when they speak and understanding others. They even tend to use more general words when describing things, even people, like it, he, she, etc.

Moreover, difficulty also occurs when it comes to reading.

To sum up, when an older adult starts to have speech problems, you better take him or her to see the doctor as early as possible. In some instances, complete loss of speech may also become a thing.

12. Weird eating habits

weird eating habits
One widespread frontotemporal dementia symptom is the development of weird eating habits.

All of a sudden, they start to crave foods that they never before liked. Moreover, overeating is an almost popular act in people with frontotemporal dementia.

That’s not all. It is also quite natural that they begin to desire sweet foods, primarily carbohydrates.

Last but not least, one of the signs of their weird eating habits is the fact that they begin eating inedible, heck, contaminated objects. You, as a caregiver or loved one, should pay close attention to what the older adult is doing.

And if they need more attention during morning or later hours, that’s what you would want to try to take care of.

Final Thoughts – Frontotemporal Dementia Symptoms

There are a range of Frontotemporal dementia symptoms, to include changes in behavior and personality to language difficulties and impaired organizational function.

Recognizing these early signs is important to allow for timely diagnosis and access to the right care. By having an understanding and awareness of these symptoms, families can navigate the challenges posed by frontotemporal dementia.

By doing so, they will be better able to manage the condition and provide the appropriate support as it progresses.

14 Signs Of Dementia In Women 2024

signs of dementia in women

You should be aware of the most common signs of dementia in women as the disease affects the female population more.

Even to this day, there is still no cure that would help prevent dementia. However, if we are familiar with the symptoms, we can take action early on and mitigate the condition.

Fun fact: there are approximately twice as many women with dementia compared to men. That said, brain cells in the brain of a woman are dying much faster.

Although women live longer than men, dementia is not really an aging disease rather solely related to the brain itself.

With all the information you will gain throughout this article, you can contribute to the care and treatment of a person with dementia.

You will now at least know that if any of the symptoms from the list below appear in your loved ones, it would be advisable to call a doctor.

Most common signs of dementia in women

1.Problem Completing The Most Common Daily Tasks

signs of dementia in women
When we go on repeating activities, they become part of our subconscious mind, and we carry out them without even thinking about them. Our chores are just like these activities that we carry off instantaneously.

But the women having symptoms of dementia have problems in performing their daily duties. They even forget how to cook food properly and make a cup of tea which they were the experts of not long ago.

These patients often remain perplexed because they do not recall their fundamental tasks and, most often, they strive to conceal their nervousness from relatives.

Having difficulties in the most common tasks is one of the preliminary signs of dementia in women.

2. Random Mood Swings

random mood swings
It is natural for the human to be annoyed at something that is uncongenial and mirthful with a delightful thing. A man can be worried in the morning and may have a contrary mood in the evening.

He can’t have two opposing tempers at the same time, but a patient with dementia shows this symptom. A woman may be furious as well as happy at a time without any strong argument.

Her behavior alters after every short period, and she may conduct strangely. She may become too sentimental or too merry. You may find out this sign of dementia in women early and act accordingly.

3. Poor Money Habits

signs of dementia in women - poor money habits
A sensible woman is competent to maintain equilibrium between savings and expenditures. She is capable of paying bills, purchasing necessary things and writing signatures on the checkbook.

But the signs of dementia in women elaborate that a woman having dementia is inept at calculating money, comprehend a bank statement and count a change.

She may buy a substance twice, shop unnecessary things on credit card and forget to open and pay bills. In this condition, she may transfer all her wealth from her account to other’s and complain of missing money.

A family member should keep an eye on her bank account every month to determine if there is any serious concern.

4. Regularly Losing Things

regularly losing things
A woman with exceptional intellect never forgets the location of a particular substance especially when she is associated with it regularly. Even a common woman may find it easier to discover an object, but it is not so with the women showing signs of dementia.

She may misplace a thing and cannot detect it. Also, she may lose the keys to her car and make false accusations. She may complain of losing her smartphone, too.

A possible solution for these kinds of women is to keep a box in which they may put their necessary things. It is the best way to protect needful things and utilize them without wasting much time.

It can also become a habit, for instance, when she enters her home or apartment, to first place all her belongings in this box and never again forget about them.

5. Trouble Communicating

trouble communicating
Dementia and other correlated brain diseases have a powerful impact on the communication faculties of the patient. Dementia, when in the early stages, does not affect native memory such as language so much as it does in critical conditions.

The capabilities of the patient to talk to others and communicate declines as the disease progresses. It gradually diminishes the built-in memory of a woman and becomes a halt to communication.

The relatives become frustrated when talking to the woman having this symptom because she forgets the topic suddenly which she was discussing during communication.

One should take safety measures when he or she finds this sign of dementia in women.

6. Repetitive Questions

repetitive questions
A normal woman asks a question just once and stores it in her reminiscence when she finds out an answer. But in the case of dementia, because there is a loss of memory, the woman reiterates a question even answered several times.

This commonly found sign of dementia in women is really of concern because it may irritate the relatives and caregivers. The patient may carry out the same job twice. It is because of the deterioration of memory cells of the brain resulting in sudden remembrance of a task several times leading to frazzling of the patient.

Not only her relatives but also the patient herself remains bamboozled for her behavior.

7. Forgetting Names

forget names
Some people are fast learners and they remember the names of objects as well as people very quickly, but some are slower in this regard.

However, this happens to all of us. Indeed, forgetting names is usually found in people of age above sixty years because their memory cells become weak and difficult to respond. But in a young woman having dementia, this condition is very carping because she forgets the names of things of daily use.

When she goes to buy an object in a shop but suddenly forgets the names, this is problematic for her. It usually happens that the patient may ask the name of a person repeatedly.

It is a critical sign of dementia in women that relatives and caregivers should take into consideration.

8. Lack Of Motivation

lack of motivation
Having confidence and energy to do a job is the hallmark of an active life. The spirited women are often determined to execute their duties and have the gallantry to do something extraordinary.

The woman with dementia is spending a life of apathy, having no interest in daily activities. Such women remain exhausted and have a lack of impetus, motivation, and incitement. They become dependent on others to do their jobs.

They have a lack of curiousness to puzzle out complex problems. Those women who have the disease lean toward loneliness and detest to talk to others.

It is one of the significant signs of dementia in women, and we should eradicate it as soon as possible.

9. Difficulty Sleeping

difficulty sleeping
The woman showing dementia has severe changes in the sleep-wake cycle in the hypothalamus. She may have anxiety, fear, and bewilderment that leads her to become the prey of depression that is another crucial situation.

She can not sleep at night and even if she tries. Instead, in the daytime, she may feel fatigued leading to sleep. It is the way of disturbance in the normal sleep-wake cycle.

The primal cause of it is that in dementia, mental faculties start diminishing which also affects the hypothalamus and the sleep-wake cycle is agitated.

These onerous alterations create a problem not only for the patient but also for the family members and relatives increasing their frustrations.

10. Bad Time Management Habits

bad time management habits
Time management is the necessity of every person in this fast world. Today, no one has time to wait for and call on others.

A dementia patient is incompetent to save time to do her duties. Bad time management habits are one of the signs of dementia in women. The loss of memory, deficiency of energy, disturbance in the sleeping cycle, depression and other such interconnected situations of dementia are a route to difficulties in the management of time.

Disorientation of biological clocks in the body and a condition of constant nervousness are the chief causes of the production of the intricate scene for time management.

11. Verbal And Physical Aggression

verbal and physical aggression
Verbal and physical aggression are the natural properties of a person. Some people may become rude due to depression and mental illness.

Such behavior is often considered as one of the very many different symptoms of dementia. She may become crude in no time without any cause. She may speak loudly, abuse severely and fight ferociously.

The explanation of it is mental stress, lack of self-control, sudden changes in mood, regularly losing things and poor money habits.

Verbal and physical aggression is one of the rigorous signs of dementia in women. It is a significant condition of concern for the caretaker of the patient.

12. Losing interest in exercise

losing interest in exercise
If your loved one happened to be very active in their lives, a sudden lack of interest in exercise and even daily activities can be one of the signs of dementia in women.

This means even something as simple as going out for a walk. It can also get more serious with losing interest in going upstairs although there is nothing wrong with them physically.

When such changes occur, it is advisable to see the doctor. There are all sorts of different reasons why this could happen and dementia or Alzheimer’s is one of them.

On the other hand, if one is diagnosed with dementia, regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and alleviates the condition.

13. Lack of vision

lack of vision
While the quality of sight decreases with aging (at least in the majority of individuals), it can also be a symptom of dementia in women. First and foremost, everyone who is sensing that they do not see as well as they used to should see a doctor.

It is not something you should just get used to and forget about the condition entirely. Especially if you are driving. When it comes to dementia, sight difficulties could be one of the signs that a person has the disease.

Sometimes, they have trouble focusing on objects, recognizing people, detecting movement and even distinguish between contrast and reading.

14. Speaking becomes troublesome

speaking becomes troublesome
One of the signs of dementia in women is the inability to speak accurately. A person might start to forget the words to use to put together a meaningful sentence.

They might start throwing in terms that do not make sense. You can find them calling a granddaughter dog or even a scoop of ice cream a table. We all know that we sometimes unaware say a word that is entirely out of context.

However, for the most part, we correct ourselves immediately. It is not quite like so when it comes to dementia in women.

Not just that, it becomes more and more regular – very evident, if you will.

Final Thoughts – Signs of Dementia in Women

Recognizing the signs of dementia in women is important for early detection and intervention. Look for subtle changes in memory and cognition to shifts in behavior and mood.

Understanding these indicators informs people to seek timely support and medical attention. By being aware and proactively monitoring, we can enhance the quality of life for women affected by dementia, giving them access to appropriate care and support services.

How to Spot Early Signs of Dementia in Women

Early Signs of Dementia in Women

A progressive neurological disorder which affects millions worldwide, dementia is an issue that can never be taken lightly. Women are highly vulnerable to dementia onset. For caregivers and loved ones, it is important for them to understand the early signs of dementia in women allowing for timely diagnosis and management of the disease.

Both directly and indirectly, women are disproportionately affected by cognitive decline. In this article, we delve into the key signs which indicate the onset of dementia in women.

Early Signs of Dementia in Women

Dementia symptoms in women

Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. Recognizing the early signs can help improve the quality of life for the affected people. Some of these signs may manifest in women as follows:

  1. Women with dementia may find remembering the most recent events difficult. From struggling to remember recent conversations to failing to recall events in the recent past, women with dementia often tend to forget the essential details.
  2. Problem-solving becomes a challenge for women who have dementia as well. And here, we refer to problems such as following a recipe for pasta or paying the utility bill at a time. Concentrating on a problem and making timely decisions about it becomes a challenge for poor souls.
  3. The ability to express and communicate coherently is significantly hampered in people with dementia. Women who fall prey to this neurological disorder often struggle to find the right words and phrases necessary for proper communication.
  4. Common early signs of dementia in women include:
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Changes in mood & personality
  • Overall decline in judgement

Cognitive Decline in Women

Memory loss in elderly women

There is a particular pattern of cognitive decline in women who have dementia. Understanding this pattern can help a lot in identifying potential dementia.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a condition characterized by mild memory and cognitive issues, is experienced by some women before the full onset of dementia. MCI is noticeable but not severe enough to significantly interfere with daily life.

Women who suffer from MCI are at a higher risk of developing dementia later. It is pertinent to mention here that monitoring these cognitive changes can be instrumental in detecting the transition to dementia.

Memory Loss in Elderly Women

Are all memory lapses because of dementia? Certainly not, which is why it is essential to characterize the memory lapse related dementia symptoms in women.

Dementia-related memory loss is quite severe; it can significantly affect and hamper the quality of life. From forgetting crucial appointments and calls to struggling to recall crucial information.

In comparison, regular age-related memory changes are not this severe. From misplacing items occasionally to forgetting the names of a person or place, age-related memory loss is rarely a cause for concern.

Dementia Warning Signs for Females

Recognizing dementia in women

Timely medical attention and support are possible if the early signs of dementia in women can be identified. Because women with dementia find it hard to complete daily tasks, they begin to shy away from them, consciously or subconsciously.

So keeping an eye on something like this is one way of recognizing if things are going south. In some instances, withdrawal isn’t limited to the kitchen only. Social withdrawal, i.e. abstaining from social gatherings, losing interest in hobbies and saying no thanks to parties because of the embarrassment associated with cognitive difficulties, is common in women with dementia.

And last but not least, impaired visual perception, i.e. difficulty in judging distance or identifying colors and contrasts, is also a significant dementia warning sign for females. One realizes the magnitude of the problem when viewed in the scope of activities requiring proper visual ability, such as reading or driving.

Recognizing Dementia in Women

Spotting Early Signs of Dementia in Women

Let us try to tabulate what we have learned in this brief:

  • Spotting dementia in women is vital for early intervention and caregiving.
  • It is imperative to look out for early signs like memory lapses, difficulty completing tasks, and issues with coherence.
  • Women with dementia may are often prone to disorientation and personality changes, memory loss in elderly women is common as well.
  • Attention to dementia warning signs for females such as mood swings, social withdrawal, and impaired judgment is crucial.
  • After recognizing dementia in women, seeking professional evaluation and support is the way forward. Discussing these issues with a dementia care specialist can help a lot. For example, the patient might be in need of Sundowning dementia treatment, which requires a precise approach to the problem.
  • Early diagnosis allows for improved quality of life for women living with dementia.
  • Stay vigilant, and offer empathy and understanding to those experiencing cognitive decline.
  • With timely recognition, appropriate care and assistance can be provided. Diet for dementia patient, especially issues such as vascular dementia and eating problems are something that must be left to the experts only.

Early Signs of Dementia in Women – Final Thoughts

So there we are. Women experience higher disability-adjusted life years and mortality due to dementia, however, they also provide 70% of care hours for people living with dementia.

Hopefully, these lines helped you identify the major ways dementia can affect women. On that optimistic note, we bid you farewell from this – early signs of dementia in women – brief.

Cognitive Test for Dementia: Detect Early

cognitive tests for dementia

The intention of this article is to assist our readers with selecting a cognitive test for dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia is a complex illness that can have many different symptoms and causes. As a preliminary test of a person’s cognitive abilities a cognitive test can be used. There are various cognitive tests that practitioners use.

The common tests include:

  • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Assesses cognitive function in areas such as memory, attention, and language.
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Designed to identify mild cognitive impairment and early-onset dementia.
  • Clock Drawing Test (CDT). Assesses a person’s ability to recognize and replicate a visual stimulus. The simple test gives insight into cognitive abilities such as spatial awareness and executive function.
  • Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE). Detects early signs of cognitive, memory, and thinking impairments.

We discuss each of these tests in greater depth further into this article.

Note: the tests we have listed are preliminary tests. No single cognitive test for dementia can conclusively diagnose dementia. To have a correct diagnosis and develop a treatment plan, a thorough evaluation by a qualified medical professional is necessary.

cognitive test for dementia

The Importance of Early Diagnosis Using a Cognitive Test For Dementia

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are progressive brain disorders affecting memory, concentration, behavior, and emotion. Dementia is the main cause of disability and dependency amongst the elderly.

Early detection of dementia is necessary for the following reasons:

Accurate diagnosis

For the best and most suitable treatment and care it is important to have an early diagnosis.

Access to treatment

There are treatments, therapies and medications that help with managing and treating some forms of dementia. With early detection, treatments can be accessed quickly. By doing so, quality of life can be improved, and the progression of the disease may be reduced.

Better planning

When dementia is diagnosed early, plans can be made ahead. Affected people are able to make necessary lifestyle changes, and put legal and financial affairs in order while the person with early dementia is still able to participate in decision-making.

Improved support

Early diagnosis allows for early support services for the person with dementia and their family. Appropriate support services would include counseling, education, and caregiver training.


To help with efforts to better understand dementia, develop new treatments, and improve care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, it is beneficial when the disease is detected early with individuals.

Overall, early detection of dementia is important for improving outcomes for people with this illness. It benefits loved ones caring for a dementia patient, as well as for advancing understanding of this complex condition and how to better approach it with treatment.

4 Common Cognitive Tests for Dementia

1. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

The Mini-Mental State Examination is a cognitive test for dementia designed to assess cognitive function in adults. A series of questions are asked and participants complete tasks that evaluate various cognitive domains (orientation, attention, memory, language, and visuospatial skills).

The test takes 10-15 minutes and is scored out of 30. Higher scores indicate better cognitive function.

The test has been used widely. It is considered to be a reliable and valid measure of cognitive function.

It is not a complete diagnostic tool for dementia and therefore should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measures conducted by a medical professional.

A limitation of the MMSE is the potential cultural and educational biases. This may affect the accuracy of the test for people who speak a foreign language or have a different cultural background.

Link to the MMSE Test.

2. Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was developed as an alternative screening tool to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

It tests the following cognitive domains: attention, memory, language, visuospatial skills, and executive function.

This cognitive test for dementia consists of 30 items. A score of 26 or higher out of 30 is considered normal. Allow 10-15 minutes to give the test.

The MoCA is more sensitive than the MMSE in detecting mild cognitive impairment and early-stage dementia. It is becoming increasingly popular as a preliminary test.

This test has been translated into multiple languages and has been proven in a variety of populations. Therefore, it a useful test for assessing dementia in varied populations.

Once again, the MoCA should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measures and not be used on its own to diagnose dementia.

Download MoCA PDF.

3. Clock Drawing Test (CDT)

Clock Drawing Test for Dementia

The Clock Drawing Test is a very popular, simple cognitive test for dementia. It is designed to detect early signs of dementia.

It tests visuospatial and executive function by requiring the person to draw a clock face from memory and set the time to a specific hour.

The clock test evaluates different aspects of the drawing. These include; the placement and size of the numbers, hands, and clock face.

Scoring the test is based on factors such as placement, size, and symmetry. The CDT can be a stand-alone test or used in combination with other cognitive tests. It is a sensitive and specific measure of cognitive impairment.

There are some limitations, such as the possibility of cultural and educational biases. Although it can be used as a stand-alone test, it is best used in conjunction with other tests.

Clock drawing Cognitive Test PDF.

4. Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE)

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam is a quick to administer screening tool.  The test assesses various cognitive domains that include orientation, language, memory, visuospatial abilities, executive function, and social cognition.

The SAGE takes 15-20 minutes to complete and consists of 12 questions.

This cognitive test for dementia is designed to be easily administered and scored by people with no formal training in cognitive testing.

It has proven to be a reliable and valid measure of cognitive function.

The SAGE can be self-administered. This allows people to conduct the test in the comfort of their own home.

Individuals can download and print a PDF of the test for administering.

The test should not be used as a sole basis for a dementia diagnosis.

Download the SAGE test.

Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE)Clock Drawing Test (CDT)Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE)
Cognitive screening toolCognitive screening toolCognitive screening toolBrief, self-administered cognitive screening tool
Used to assess cognitive function in adultsDeveloped as an alternative to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)Assesses visuospatial and executive functionAssesses various cognitive domains: orientation, language, memory, visuospatial abilities, executive function, and social cognition
Consists of a series of questions and tasksAssesses various cognitive domains: attention, memory, language, visuospatial skills, and executive functionRequires the individual to draw a clock face from memory and set the time to a specific hourConsists of 12 questions
Evaluates various cognitive domains: orientation, attention, memory, language, and visuospatial skillsConsists of 30 itemsUsed to detect early signs of cognitive impairment and dementiaTakes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete
Takes approximately 10-15 minutes to administerTakes approximately 10-15 minutes to administerEvaluates various aspects of clock drawing, including placement and size of numbers, hands, and clock faceDesigned to be easily administered and scored by individuals with no formal training in cognitive testing
Scored out of 30 pointsA score of 26 or higher out of 30 is considered normalScores are based on a variety of factors, including placement, size, and symmetryReliable and valid measure of cognitive function in older adults
Higher scores indicate better cognitive functionMore sensitive than the MMSE in detecting mild cognitive impairment and early-stage dementiaCan be used alone or in combination with other cognitive testsUseful tool for identifying early signs of cognitive impairment and dementia
Reliable and valid measure of cognitive functionValidated in a variety of populationsHas been shown to be a sensitive and specific measure of cognitive impairment in dementiaSelf-administered, allowing individuals to assess their own cognitive function in the comfort of their own home
Used extensively in clinical and research settingsTranslated into multiple languagesHas some limitations, such as the possibility of cultural and educational biasesTo be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measures
To be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measuresUseful for assessing cognitive function in diverse populationsTo be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measuresNot to be used as a sole basis for a dementia diagnosis
Not a definitive diagnostic tool for dementiaTo be used in conjunction with other diagnostic measures
Potential cultural and educational biases should be consideredNot to be used as a sole basis for a dementia diagnosis


How a Cognitive Test for Dementia Works

A person’s cognitive function are assessed using these screening tools. The tests identify mental processes such as attention, memory, language, and visual-spatial ability.

Cognitive strengths and weaknesses are identified as well as impairment or decline. The results help in the diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

5 Cognitive Domains Assessed by These Tests:

5 Cognitive Domains Assessed by These Tests:

  1. Orientation: Assesses a person’s awareness of time, place, and the ability to recognize and recall details about their surroundings.
  2.  Attention: Tests focus and the ability to maintain attention on certain tasks, and the ability to switch attention between different tasks.
  3. Memory: Tests short-term and long-term memory. Assessing the ability to encode, store, and retrieve information.
  4. Language: Can the patient communicate effectively? This test assesses the ability to understand and use language, both verbally and in writing, to express themselves, and comprehending spoken and written language.
  5. Visual-spatial ability: Can the patient perceive and manipulate visual information? The test assesses the ability to recognize and interpret shapes, sizes, and spatial relationships.

Cognitive tests evaluate the domains through a range of tasks. Examples include: recalling a list of words, naming objects or pictures, drawing a clock face, or following complex instructions.

The person’s performance on these tasks, provides insights into their cognitive abilities and identify areas of impairment or decline.

Interpreting Cognitive Test For Dementia Results

SAGE Dementia Test Health Professional Assessment

To interpret results the practitioner requires a good understanding of the type of test being used. Also, the patient’s medical history, current symptoms, and other diagnostic information would be required.

Health professionals, such as psychiatrists, neurologists, and neuropsychologists, are usually responsible for interpreting cognitive test results.

When interpreting results, doctors consider a range of factors. These include:

Test scores

The raw score on each test provide important information about a person’s cognitive abilities. This helps identify areas of strength and weakness.

Age and education level

It is important to take into consideration age and education level. This can have a large sway on cognitive function.

Medical history

Knowing an individual’s medical history provide important context for interpreting test results. Any previous diagnoses or treatment for cognitive impairment or dementia should be noted.


Current symptoms and level of functioning may also provide important understandings into the severity and nature of their cognitive impairment.

Other diagnostic information

Medical practitioners will interpret test results in conjunction with other diagnostic information. This information may include imaging studies or laboratory tests. By doing so a more thorough understanding of the person’s cognitive function is established.

Scoring Systems for Various Cognitive Tests

Each test has a different method of scoring.

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

The test assesses orientation, attention, memory, language, and visual-spatial ability.

The test presents a series of questions. Each question is given a score based on the individual’s response.

The maximum possible score on the MMSE is 30. A score of 24 or lower indicating possible cognitive impairment.

Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

This test assesses similar cognitive domains to the MMSE, but includes more complex tasks and measures.

The test gives a series of questions. Each is assigned a score based on the individual’s response.

The maximum possible score on the MoCA is 30. A score of 26 or lower indicates that there is possible cognitive impairment.

Clock Drawing Test (CDT)

This cognitive test for dementia assesses visual-spatial ability and executive function. The person being tested is given specific instructions requiring him/her to draw a clock face. The drawing is given a score based on accuracy and completeness.

The test is scored on a 6-point scale, with lower scores showing greater impairment.

Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE)

The SAGE assesses orientation, language, memory, visuospatial abilities, executive function, and social cognition.

The test gives a series of questions. Each question is given a score based on responses.

The maximum possible score on the SAGE is 22. A score of 14 or lower indicates that there is possible cognitive impairment.

Cognitive tests are scored based on the person’s performance on specific tasks or questions. Lower scores indicate greater impairment.

To provide a full understanding of a person’s cognitive function. Cognitive test for dementia scores should be taken in the context of the individual’s age, education level, medical history, and other diagnostic information.

Diagnoses and Treatment Plans

Brain scan to diagnose dementia

Cognitive test results are used to help diagnose and develop treatment plans for early dementia. Here are some ways that test results are used:


A Dementia Neurologist will diagnose early dementia by looking at the results of a cognitive test for dementia.

Tests such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) are all used to assess cognitive function and identify potential areas of impairment.

Severity Assessment

Results of these tests can help Doctors assess the severity of early dementia.

Scores on tests such as the MMSE, MoCA, and SAGE can be used to measure the degree of cognitive impairment and by repeating the test, track changes in cognitive function over time.

From this information, the development of treatment plans that are suited to specific needs of the person can be developed.

Treatment planning

Individualized treatment plans for people with early dementia can be developed using results from tests.

Such plans may include medication to manage symptoms, cognitive rehabilitation therapy to improve cognitive function, and lifestyle modifications to promote overall health and well-being.

The specifics of the treatment plan will depend on the collation of information from test results, medical history, and other diagnostic information.


Healthcare professionals can monitor the progression of early dementia over time by analysing test results.

By regularly testing, Doctors can track changes in cognitive function and, if required, adjust treatment plans.


A comprehensive assessment of cognitive function assist Doctors develop individualized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each person with early dementia.

Limitations of a Cognitive Test for Dementia

Dementia Tests for Early Diagnosis

A cognitive test for dementia can be useful in assessing cognitive function and identifying potential areas of impairment, however, there are limitations to their use in diagnosing dementia. Here are some to consider:

Cultural and linguistic biases

Cultural and linguistic biases with some of the tests can impact test performance. For example, tests that rely heavily on language may be more difficult for individuals who speak a different language or who come from a different cultural background.

Education Level

People with low education levels may present less accurate test results. Some questions may be more difficult for those with less formal education.

Learning Effect

With repeated testing, individuals may improve their performance on cognitive tests. This can make it difficult to accurately assess changes in cognitive function over time.

Comorbid Conditions

Some medical conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can impact test performance. Such conditions may need to be considered in the diagnostic process.

Lack of Sensitivity

Some tests may not be sensitive enough to detect early stages of dementia or subtle changes in cognitive function.

Cognitive Test for Dementia – Final Thoughts

Cognitive tests play a vital role in detecting early signs of dementia. Detecting dementia early is important for effective management and treatment of the condition.

People who feel they, or someone they know, may be experiencing cognitive decline should seek professional medical advice as soon as possible. Start by talking to a primary care physician or a specialist in dementia.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of dementia and improve quality of life for both the individual and their caregivers.

Lifestyle considerations such as regular physical exercise, a balanced diet, and mental stimulation will contribute to promote better brain health and potentially reduce the risk of dementia.


SAGE Dementia Test: 15 Minute At-Home Test

SAGE Dementia Test: 15 Minute At-Home Test

The SAGE dementia test, also known as the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam, is a short cognitive assessment tool designed to help detect early signs of cognitive impairment and dementia.

The SAGE test includes several features that make useful as a screening tool:

Features of the SAGE Dementia Test

  • Self-administered: The cognitive test can be taken by the person being screened, without the need for a healthcare professional to administer it.
  • Brief: Only 15 minutes to needed to complete the test.
  • Simple language: It uses easy-to-understand language minimizing confusion and helping ensure responses are accurate.
  • Four cognitive domains: Cognitive function are assessed in four key domains. These are orientation, language, memory, and visuospatial ability.
  • Cultural neutrality: It is designed to be culturally neutral, meaning it can be utilized by people from diverse backgrounds and languages.
  • Scoring system: The test has a scoring system that helps to interpret results and identify dementia.
    Note that the SAGE dementia test is not a diagnostic tool on its own. A thorough assessment by a qualified medical professional is necessary to determine a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment.

SAGE Dementia Test Health Professional Assessment

Administering the SAGE Dementia Test

The test has four parts, each of which including questions/tasks that patients must complete. Here’s a sample of questions/tasks that patients may be asked to do during the SAGE test:

  1. Orientation: Questions to gauge the orientation to time and place. For example: “What is today’s date?” or “Where are we right now?”
  2. Language: Recall the names of animals, name common items and describe similarities between objects.
  3. Reasoning: Solve simple mathematical problems, identify the next number in a sequence, and follow a set of instructions.
  4. Visuospatial skills: Draw a clock face and set the time to a specific hour, and to identify the missing parts in a picture.

Also, the SAGE dementia test includes questions that assess executive function. Examples include: identifying the appropriate word to complete a sentence and recalling details from a short story.

Scoring and Interpreting the SAGE Cognitive Assessment

SAGE Dementia Test

Scoring and interpreting the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam involves the following steps:

SAGE Test Scoring

Each question is scored separately. The total number of correct responses provide a raw score. A higher score indicates better cognitive function.

SAGE Test Interpretation

Taking into consideration of age and education level, this raw score is then converted to a standardized score. By doing so, it identifies and accounts for potential biases and differences in cognitive function that are based on factors to do with demographic.

Cut-off scores

The standardized score can then be compared to cut-off scores to identify the likelihood of dementia. For example, a score below a certain level may indicate a need for further evaluation or referral to a specialist.

Clinical judgment

The SAGE test does provide valuable information about cognitive function, however, it should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and clinical judgment to establish an accurate diagnosis of dementia.

Overall, scoring and interpreting the SAGE dementia test requires careful attention to the specific questions and response options. It also requires consideration of demographics and other diagnostic information. Healthcare professionals who are trained in the use and interpretation of cognitive tests should be sort to make certain a diagnosis is accurate.

Health Professionals Planning

Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam

Healthcare professionals will assess the SAGE exam. If the test indicates cognitive impairment they may take steps to create a plan for further evaluation and treatment. These steps include:

Referral for additional testing

If the test shows a likelihood of cognitive impairment, the patient will likely be referred for additional testing to help identify the cause and severity of the dementia. Additional testing may be a more comprehensive cognitive test, blood tests or brain imaging.

Referral to a specialist

Subject to the suspected cause of the cognitive impairment, the patient may be referred to a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or geriatrician. The specialist will conduct further assessment.

Treatment planning

From the results of the test, professionals will work with the patient and their caregivers to set-up a treatment plan. The plan may include medications to manage underlying conditions or symptoms, cognitive training and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modifications.

Monitoring and follow-up

Dementia is a progressive condition. To monitor cognitive function and modify treatment plans as required, healthcare professionals may schedule regular follow-up appointments.

Limitations of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam

The test is not a diagnostic tool on its own. Rather it is used as a screening tool that can assist with identifying people who may gain from further evaluation. The SAGE test is only the beginning of the process. Before a treatment plan can be put into place, further assessment will be required.

Download the SAGE Dementia Test

Download the SAGE dementia test HERE.

The SAGE test is difficult to administer online. It is better to download a test in your language and print it out to administer. If you are specifically looking for an online test, then you consider the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). The MMSE test is a similar test that can be administered by a person who is not trained. It also takes only 15 minutes. Here is a link to the online MMSE test.

Sage Test Final Thoughts

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is a simple, convenient, and effective tool for testing for dementia across several domains. It can help individuals and healthcare professionals identify possible cognitive impairment and take appropriate actions to address it.

The SAGE test is not a diagnostic tool on its own and should be used in combination with other assessment tools and clinical evaluation.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing cognitive decline or has concerns about cognitive function, it’s necessary to seek professional medical advice.

Acting early to identifying dementia can make a significant difference in managing cognitive impairment and improving quality of life.

There are a variety of tests for assessing cognitive decline. This article explains and compares 5 different dementia tests.

6 Early Warning Signs of Dementia 

6 early warning signs of dementia

Let’s talk about the 6 early warning signs of dementia.

Feeling tired, stressed, lethargic?

You would have all the symptoms of dementia, but do you really have dementia?

Tiredness and stress, may simply be due to late nights, low blood sugar, heavy work load, or any number of things. There are a number of signs that are not real dementia.

The worst thing you could do is give your spouse or partner the wrong diagnosis.

Another trap is the belief you have dementia, but not actually have it. You may have a well-meaning spouse who self-diagnoses you with dementia. He/she then gets into the habit of reminding you when you are forgetful and corrects you when you make a mistake. You then start to think and feel that you actually have early dementia.

It doesn’t mean you have dementia if these symptoms happen occasionally.

early warning signs of dementia

What is dementia?

A mental decline. When certain parts of your brain are shrinking, specifically a structure called the hippocampus.

6 Early Warning Signs of Dementia

1.Poor organization

People with early dementia may have problems with familiar everyday organization tasks. They may get confused with the order of things or with making plans.

2. Personality changes

Having unexpected mood swings where a person switches between emotions for no apparent reason may indicate an early sign of dementia. For no real reason, they may seem different from his/her usual self. They may become irritable, depressed, anxious, agitated, or apathetic.


Our gut is like a second brain. There is a connection between our gut and our brain. The microbiome (bacteria) in our gut makes neurotransmitters. They also make more serotonin than our brain makes serotonin. Serotonin is a natural mood stabiliser that regulates wellbeing and happiness.

We have more nerve fibers in our digestive system than we do in our spinal column.

Many cognitive problems can stem from our gut. People who have Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease have much higher instance of constipation than someone who doesn’t have these diseases.

However, it is important to note that if you have constipation, it doesn’t mean you have dementia. It is just an early sign.

4.Sensory Dysfunction.

unable to focus

This could include issues with your smell, taste, hearing, eyesight and even your appetite. These could be early signs of cognitive decline. As sensory decline becomes more apparent, then the ability to focus, concentrate and overall memory is really what shows up to be a problem.

5.Language Problems

Struggling to find words for certain things, tending to repeat saying the same things over and over again, or mixing up words are all early indicators of dementia.

For example, a person may be able to talk and make sentences, but is incoherent. What they are saying does not make sense. Words come out randomly and all over the place.  This can be extremely frustrating for the person trying to communicate. Language problems are a result of a shrinking hippocampus.

6.Problems Navigating

Dementia Patient Getting Confused and Lost

Problems navigating are apparent when you are trying to locate a place in a new area. You get confused and can’t work out where you are.

In our brain we have a GPS which allows us to locate where we are in space. When this area of the brain goes down, we lose this GPS. So, our internal map becomes non-functional, resulting in not being able to find out where you are.

Final Comments

Now that you are aware of what the early warning signs of dementia are, the next step is to know how to prevent the onset of dementia. We have published an article with 7 easy things you can do to prevent cognitive decline.

Viewing Dr. Eric Berg DC channel guided much of the content for this article. Dr. Berg specializes in Intermittent Fasting and Healthy Ketosis.


Ambiguous Loss in Dementia

Ambiguous Loss in Dementia

When caring for a person with dementia, it is possible to experience ambiguous loss in dementia.

Ambiguous loss can be described as a type of loss an individual feels when a person with dementia is physically there, but is not as emotionally or mentally present as before.

Ambiguous Loss Pioneered by Pauline Boss, Ph.D. explains that this type of loss happens when a loved one is not psychologically present.

This is where a person is cognitively or emotionally gone.

Dementia is a progressive, neurodegenerative, and fatal disease that destroys brain cells. For people who care and love for those with the illness, the ambiguous loss is a constant reminder of how challenging the illness can be.

This kind of loss is not like other types of losses.

Ambiguous Loss, Grief and Dementia

Ambiguous loss in dementia affects everyone

Ambiguous loss is often unclear and has not resolution, closure, or predictable ending. For instance, with death, loved ones know that the person is gone and they can grieve the loss.

With the ambiguous loss, however, individuals are usually at crossroads because there is no certainty of death and it is also not possible to tell whether they will go back to their “normal” selves.

Ambiguous Loss in Dementia Affects Everyone

Ambiguous loss does not only affect caregivers but people with dementia as well. Individuals with the progressive illness are likely to experience feelings of grief and loss over their diagnosis and the changes they go through as the disease progresses through various stages.

Some carers will not recognize ambiguous grief or know how to react when the abilities of the individual with dementia change. This type of grief can confuse relationships and prevent people from moving on.

Recognizing these feelings and understanding the concept of this type of loss can help ease the effects. It is possible to grieve the losses through guidance and support allowing carers to stay connected to the person with dementia while at the same time building resilience and strength.

Understanding Ambiguous Loss

Understanding ambiguous loss

Carers need to get an in-depth understanding of this unique type of loss. It helps caregivers come up with effective techniques to cope with ambiguous loss in dementia and live successfully with all the uncertainties that surround the progressive illness.

Carers have to learn new ways of relating with the person with the illness while becoming more comfortable with the ambiguity. This is especially because it is not possible to control the effects and progression of dementia. At the same time, caregivers have to move on with their lives while looking after the individual with the illness.

Effects of Ambiguous Loss in Dementia

Effects of ambiguous loss in dementia

Ambiguous loss can be a huge stressor for people looking after their loved ones with dementia. It can lead to several negative effects such as:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Ongoing strain and tension
  • Role confusion
  • Depression
  • Family discord that may result in dysfunctional relationships
  • Caregiver isolation

Managing Ambiguous Loss Positively

Managing ambiguous loss positively

Caregivers, family members, and friends can take several steps to positively live with ambiguous loss in dementia and some of them include:


Reflecting on the losses that occur both in the person with dementia and the one looking after the affected individual. Acknowledge this grief, express it, and share it with other persons who will be supportive and understanding. Knowing that a person is not alone when dealing with this type of loss can help offer some relief.

Engage in paradoxical thinking

Paradoxical or dual thinking allows carers to accept the presence and absence that ambiguity presents. It is where a person uses “both/and” thinking instead of “either/or” when dealing with two contradictory ideas that are true at the same time.

This helps people reframe perceptions that they cannot change. “My grandmother has dementia and needs help and I need opportunities to enjoy life” is an example of a paradoxical way of thinking.

Strengthening relationships

Strengthening relationships

Strengthen existing relationships with family and friends is important. At the same time, carers should be open to establishing new relationships that can support and enhance life amid grief and loss.

Where possible, carers should continue with family traditions and celebrations (e.g., holidays and birthdays, etc) making changes where necessary.

Caregivers should also learn to create new rituals that will aid with effective daily living.

Carers should not be afraid of going out to ask for emotional support or hands-on assistance. They should also be ready to share their experiences with others in a bid to help those who may be in a similar position.


Eating well, staying physically active, and taking practical steps towards relieving stress are options people have when it comes to taking care of personal needs. Scheduling breaks from care can also help boost morale and health to enable better decision-making and caregiving.

Identify creative outlets

Look for creative and interesting ways to express loss and grief like painting, writing, or other visual forms of art.

Get professional help

Other than reaching out to caregivers, relatives, and friends for support, professional assistance may also come in handy. Options available include well-organized support groups, licensed councillors, and professional organizations like the Alzheimer’s Society.

Celebrate the happy and sad

While grieving what is lost celebrate what has been gained. It is important to always embrace what remains through the various stages of the illness. For instance, while a person may not be able to take long walks or go to the gym, they can still go to the movies.

Ignore what cannot be controlled

It is not possible to control memory loss of a person with dementia but carers can control their reactions.

Closing Remarks

Caregivers looking after people with dementia may struggle with ambiguous loss in dementia. This does not have to be something that wears the carer out. Understanding what this type of loss is and learning how to successfully manage it is instrumental in taking good care of persons living with dementia.

Dementia and Financial Problems

dementia and financial problems

Persons living with dementia and their caregivers or loved ones will at one point have to deal with dementia and financial problems. This is because as the illness progresses, affected individuals normally struggle to manage their finances.

At the onset of the illness, affected individuals may complete simple tasks such as paying bills without any problem. They may experience difficulties completing tasks like balancing check books. Later on, they can lose their ability to handle money matters.

Seniors with dementia may either need additional support or someone reliable and trustworthy should take over the management of finances. There are several areas where a person with dementia may struggle with finances and these may include:

difficulties managing money

Difficulties Managing Money

Persons with dementia will most likely have continuing financial responsibilities such as credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, or other forms of credit. Some may even have kids who depend on them financially.

Sadly, living with dementia may result in less income, which is something that can create pressure when it comes to keeping up with financial responsibilities.

It is recommended that people who have dementia seek financial advice as soon as possible to know how best to manage their funds. It is usually important to make decisions in advance so that things are handled the way the affected person would want them to be handled.

Signs of Dementia and Money Problems

Be on the lookout for signs of money problems. For example a person with dementia may have difficulty counting change, calculating a tip, paying for a purchase, balancing a checkbook, or understanding a bank statement. They may be afraid or agitated when talking about money. You may also notice:

  • Unpaid and unopened bills
  • Unusual purchases on a credit card
  • Strange new merchandise
  • Money amiss from the person’s bank account

signs of financial fraud or abuse of people with dementia

Having a Separate Bank Account With Limits

Setting up standing orders for regular bills like rent/ mortgage, electricity, and gas is a good way to make sure a person does not forget to make payments.

When it comes to dementia and bank accounts, it is usually best for persons with dementia to have a separate account that will cater for care expenses. It is also advisable to have limits set on the bank account to manage withdrawals.

A trustworthy person should be put in charge of noting the money that comes in and out of the account so that the individual with dementia does not become a victim of fraud.

bank account limits for dementia patients

Explore Available Benefits

It is also important to explore benefits available for persons with dementia to help ease the financial burden.

Persons who are over the age of 65 may benefit from Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Reduction among others.

Looking at insurance options can also be another great way to help manage money well. Additionally, affected individuals can also look into free and low-cost community services they can take advantage of.

Problems Remembering PINs

One of the points that come up when discussing dementia and managing money is the inability to remember PINs (Personal Identification Numbers). If the person with the progressive illness can still effectively take care of their finances, it would be best for them to use chip and signature cards.

This way, the affected person will not need to remember any numbers as they will only provide a signature when they need to access their money. It is also possible to set up direct debits that can be used for bills so that the person with dementia does not have to worry about making payments.

problems remembering PINs

Giving Money Away Aimlessly

It is also important to talk about dementia and giving money away. Many caregivers agree that some people with dementia become over-generous with their money. Sadly, in most cases, they are victims of scammers.


Unscrupulous individuals may contact the person with dementia requesting donations or offering fake “special deals”.

If necessary, consider changing their number so that scammers do not have access to the sick individuals.

Registering the persons on a Do Not Call registry is also necessary to protect seniors from unwarranted calls.

Frugal with Money

Persons with dementia may start giving away money or spending it on unnecessary things. This is a common issue. For instance, a person may purchase 10 similar outfits or household items they will never use. This can especially be noticeable if a person was previously frugal and their spending habits suddenly change.

For some individuals, the topic of dementia and money obsession becomes apparent. A person with dementia may show strong signs of becoming obsessed with money. They may even accuse caregivers of stealing their cash when this is not the case.

dementia and financial problems

Fake Money

If a person with dementia wants to constantly see their money, and become agitated when they cannot, then carers can purchase fake money and place it in their wallets or somewhere where they can see the cash with ease. This helps to keep them calm and happy. It will reassure them that people are not steeling from them.

In the above scenarios, it is advisable to talk to the affected person about the recent changes in their lives concerning dementia and financial problems.

If this does not sit well with the affected individual, consider asking professionals like an attorney or clergy to speak to them.

fake money for dementia patients

Limiting Access

Limiting access to check books and credit cards can also help limit a person’s access to money so that they do not give it away carelessly.

It is also advisable to appoint a durable power of attorney who will help properly manage finances.

Take note if there is any form of elder financial abuse. This is where other people take advantage of seniors by misusing their money or property. Such cases warrant reporting to the police as well as local Adult Protective Services (APS) organizations.

Signs of Financial Fraud or Abuse

  • Signatures on checks and other important documents do not match the signature of the person with the illness.
  • An individual’s house is under sale or has been sold without them giving permission.
  • The person’s will has been changed without their knowledge.
  • The individual is missing valuable items such as jewellery from their home.
  • The affected person has signed legal papers like power of attorney, will, or joint house deed without knowing what the papers are all about.

Closing Thoughts

After a dementia diagnosis, it is common for affected persons and their loved ones to have to deal with dementia and financial problems. Individuals with the progressive illness need to be given enough support from reliable professionals as well as their relatives or friends to ensure they appropriately manage their finances throughout the illness.


15 Early Signs Of Dementia (Common) 2021

early signs of dementia

Our extensive research and study allowed us to bring you a list of the most common early signs of dementia.

As soon as you observe regular deteriorations in the condition of a person, you should not really wait for too long.

Instead, act as soon as possible and let the person that shows early signs of dementia see a doctor.

(In some cases, it might be just age-related change.)

Still, if a person is developing dementia, you will be glad that it is really early and appropriate treatment CAN apply to slower the condition.

(Dementia does not happen as part of natural aging.)

In this article, we will look at different changes you should pay attention to and what are some of the early signs and symptoms of dementia.

Common Early Signs Of Dementia

To make your lives easier, we compiled what is considered the most common symptoms of dementia especially when in the super early stage.

1. Temporary memory loss

temporary memory loss
Dementia is the term used to refer to a broad spectrum of symptoms that allude to the weakening of the brain affecting its ability to function properly.

Often the symptoms are quite severe and they affect someone’s daily life. It results from damaged brain cells affecting their normal function to communicate and facilitate different activities of the body.

Temporary memory loss which often affects someone short-term is known to be one of the early signs of dementia. It starts with someone who can often recall events that happened a long time ago suddenly not being able to remember what they had for lunch.

As it affects someone’s cognitive abilities, a person with dementia tends to forget any recently learned information. Even things like dates, events or they cannot help but ask about the same thing repeatedly.

Most find that they have an increasing need to depend on memory aids.

2. Difficulty communicating

difficulty communicating
A person with the condition may have a hard time trying to find the right words to piece together a sentence when communicating. It’s because they often can’t remember the names of items, people or places.

They may not be able to hold a MEANINGFUL conversation to the end since most times they tend to forget simple words or substitute the use of words incorrectly making sentences hard to comprehend.

They may also pause mid-sentence trying to figure out the right vocabulary to use.

What’s more, they also find that they are unable to complete a sentence at all. The result is a lot of repetition making them sound like they are babbling incoherently.

It may also be hard for them to understand those around them and this may become disheartening. To help them, you can simplify your sentences or speak a bit slower or perhaps repeatedly in case they still don’t understand.

3. Increased confusion

increased confusion
Confusion is also one of the early indications of dementia. As the brain cells begin to deteriorate, confusion may occur affecting the person with dementia’s perception of time and place.

As a result, they may not know their whereabouts, how they arrived at certain places and they even forget the way home or easily get lost.

Dementia also causes someone to LOSE track of dates, the passage of time and seasons. If you leave someone with dementia alone for a few minutes to them it may feel like a really long time.

It’s worth noting that at older ages it’s NORMAL to confuse time and dates, however, all factors considered this information often aligns.

However, someone with the disorder keeps suffering from forgetfulness regardless of their age.

4. Challenges performing everyday tasks

challenges performing everyday tasks
Difficulty in performing familiar tasks is also one of the early signs of dementia. As a result of the changes brought about by the condition, abstract thinking becomes quite hard.

Moreover, the person with dementia often shows an unusual struggle performing mental tasks.

People with this disease may at many times find it hard to handle regular everyday tasks that they had previously carried out with ease.

For example, organizing events, planning chores or make simple financial transactions like paying bills become more and more challenging due to the significant decline in brain cognition.

Something as simple as brewing a cup of coffee may prove difficult to someone with dementia because it may be troublesome to follow the right steps.

5. Repetitiveness

Due to memory loss, people with dementia often end up repeating themselves or lose their chain of thought when holding conversations.

The frequent repetition of activities, questions or statements is a significant sign of reduced cognition.

Sometimes, weariness or anxiety sparks this repetitive behavior. A person with dementia may not remember handling a certain task or previously holding any conversations.

They may repeat the same question several times even after they’ve been answered over and over again.

This happens when the brain’s cerebral cortex which oversees a wide range of functions such as memory and language is damaged or ceases to perform the way it should.

When it comes to repetitiveness, it is also IMPORTANT to educate children about dementia, so they act appropriately.

6. Rapid mood swings

rapid mood swings
Mood swings are also a part of the early signs of dementia and they lead someone to suddenly respond or react irrationally.

It also elicits feelings of fear, anxiety, depression or irritability especially in situations where remembering things becomes quite problematic.

They may also be easily vexed with their colleagues, with friends, at home or in surroundings where they are out of their comfort zones.

This may be quite challenging for caregivers because the person with dementia may behave differently from their usual selves in ways that are hard to explain.

On the other hand, a person with dementia may also be less emotional than they previously were. Plus, their behavior can change SWIFTLY, resulting in rapid mood swings.

7. Poor judgment

poor judgement
Poor judgment is another hallmark of dementia that at times precedes memory loss. A person with dementia is continually unable to make apt decisions.

They may be unable to make the right call in terms of evaluating the different aspects that should be well-thought-out when making an important decision.

If your kin exhibits a pattern of unmistakably wrong decisions or actions such as driving yet they are unable to determine how fast they should go on a highway, chances are they’re suffering from dementia or a similar disorder.

It may be helpful as you cope to consider dementia as a possible reason for their behaviors that seem beyond their control.

8. Withdrawal

Due to the loss of multiple abilities as sparked by dementia the person afflicted soon becomes withdrawn from friends and family.

They also start to display a general lack of interest in activities that they previously found exciting.

A person with dementia may begin to exclude themselves from social activities, hobbies, or even sports that they once loved.

When they are aware of their diminished capacity to handle daily tasks, they may develop poor self-esteem and end up feeling embarrassed or even ashamed.

It leads most to retreat into isolation.

Withdrawal as a symptom of dementia often hits those who are working the hardest. It affects their productivity leading to a decline in their overall performance.

It throws them into a state of sadness and depression.

9. Problems with coordination

problems with coordination
If recognition and coordination complications begin to take effect and affect someone’s everyday life, it could be an early sign of dementia.

A person with the disorder may be clumsy, unhandy, uncoordinated and heavy-handed.

They are not performing tasks with the same ease as they used to. And this means simple things like walking, not to mention running and cycling.

They may also find it difficult to recognize familiar objects like a pot of coffee, cutlery, a cooker, kettle, toothbrush or toothpaste.

Symptoms of a loss of coordination and motor abilities include shaking, struggling to use a hairbrush or shaver and difficulty tying or untying shoelaces.

If, all of a sudden, a person starts to act awkwardly and it goes on for longer than usual, do not leave it behind thinking it will get better.

10. Inability to adapt to change

inability to adapt to change
Difficulty adapting to change is one of the typical early signs of dementia. The inability to recall people’s names or follow what others are talking about can cause nervousness and fear of new changes.

It makes someone with dementia almost obsessive about sticking to their usual routine. On the other hand, they are shying away from trying out new experiences.

Dementia can also alter the way how a person responds to different environments. They may be frustrated and irritated since they cannot follow what’s happening in unfamiliar places.

Disruptive noise, conversations, large crowds, and movements may be overwhelming for them.

Moreover, they find it even more difficult to comprehend information in such surroundings.

11. Neglecting hygiene

neglecting hygiene
Although dementia effects vary from one person to another, it gradually takes a toll on the afflicted individual.

It prevents them from taking care of their daily responsibilities as their cognitive abilities decline. This eventually leads to poor personal grooming and hygiene. Even those who were previously obsessed with their looks and cleanliness are not spared.

As the illness progresses, someone with dementia often starts forgetting to brush their teeth, change their clothes, shower regularly or even use the toilet.

They may not remember the importance of doing all those things.

Depression from the condition could also cause someone to neglect their personal hygiene. At this point, professional assistance is necessary to help them comfortably cope with the activities of daily life.

12. Misplacing items

misplacing items
Many tend to associate misplacing things with the natural aging process. However, this could be one of the early signs of dementia.

Regularly finding supposedly missing items in unusual spots such as locating the remote control in a shoe rack or missing car keys inside the refrigerator are strong indications of the manifestation of dementia.

A person with the condition may easily forget where they kept items such as books or a wristwatch.

They might end up accusing those around them of stealing or hiding their possessions.

They will also emphatically deny it due to their weak memory function and cognitive reasoning. If these underlying concerns are checked out and treated on time, the effects CAN be cured.

13. Lack of abstract thinking

lack of abstract thinking
While we already mentioned trouble with completing everyday tasks and activities earlier, lack of abstract thinking is another early sign of dementia.

There are loads of simple questions you can ask them or even use while observing a person if you notice any changes.

You might not see it the first time, but if a difference in behavior and action happens regularly, a close watch is necessary.

They might have trouble with the simplest mathematical tasks or providing a summary of the article they just read.

Even when reading the instruction for a new gadget, once they are complete, they are still not really sure how to use it.

They might repeat the reading but the end result stays the same – they are unaware of how the gadget operates. Lack of abstract thinking is especially noticeable with how well they manage their finances.

14. Inappropriate behavior

inappropriate behavior
One of the early signs of dementia is inappropriate behavior. This becomes especially evident if a person was behaving in a certain way for the majority of their time, but then they begin to misbehave for no real reason.

If it happens once or twice, even three times, it might not be too big of a deal.

However, if it becomes their repetitive practice, it is highly advisable to see the doctor as soon as possible. Some of the misbehaving acts could be aggression, both physical and mental, arguing and bickering.

One of them is also inappropriate sexual behavior, but that is something we will talk about more in-depth in a future article.

15. Mixing up time and place

miximg up time and place
Since we already chatted about this earlier, it is worth adding it in its own paragraph. While everyone sometimes forgets about what day it is, even where they are going, it is not healthy if this starts happening regularly.

If that begins to occur TOO frequently, it could be one of the early signs of dementia.

Do observe the person as much as possible. Take them to the doctor as soon as possible if this “new forgetfulness” does not go away. Acting early enough and getting treatment before the condition progresses can alleviate it tremendously.

Also, if you happen to be the person who is sensing something “weird” happening to you, again, see the doctor or practitioner as soon as possible.

Follow by Email