12 Warning Signs of Dementia [Common] 2021

signs of dementia

With each passing year, we need to be more and more aware of the warning signs of dementia.

Why so? The fact of the matter is, there are more and more people affected by the disease in one form or another.

However, if you act early, you can positively impact the person with dementia and help alleviate the condition.

That said, you can discover some of the most common signs that are connected to a person with dementia. But only if you are familiar with them.

Some are pretty basic, almost mundane, but we just do not link them with dementia. Thus, it almost should be part of the general knowledge, knowing what signs to take into consideration.

Bear in mind, millions and millions of people are impacted by dementia globally and the number is only to increase year in and year out.

Most common warning signs of dementia

Trouble accomplishing mundane tasks

trouble accomplishing mundane tasks
One of the most common signs of dementia is when one starts to develop a problem completing familiar tasks.

For instance, all of a sudden, they start having trouble making a cup of coffee or even bringing a meal to the table. Moreover, they forget how to tie shoelaces or clean the floor.

What was once a piece of cake, unexpectedly, a person gets distracted too frequently or completely forgets/ignores the process.

When you observe drastic and repeated changes in their behavior, it is very advisable to seek a doctor or a practitioner.

Together, you can then investigate the condition further and diagnose whether he or she has dementia.

Trouble Concentrating or Thinking

trouble concentrating or thinking
Concentration and thinking are essential for us to get going with our daily tasks. One of the early signs of dementia is having trouble concentrating or thinking.

We can characterize this symptom of dementia when one cannot maintain his focus on one thing or situation at a time.

He or she is constantly dealing with “having a million thoughts on one’s mind” at the same time which demands your attention. One might also have an unusual difficulty focusing on or remembering what he just said, the last food he ate or what he was doing just minutes ago.

There is also the tendency of forgetting names, phone numbers or what one was just thinking of.

Since concentration and thinking are necessary for accomplishing intellectual tasks, losing those will make living life much more difficult than usual.

Poor Short-term Memory

poor short term memory
When one thinks of poor short-term memory, Dory from Disney’s Finding Nemo easily comes to mind. The character of Dory perfectly represents yet another one of the signs of dementia.

Similarly, a person suffering from dementia may not remember the address of the scuba diver written on the goggles which the Disney characters saw before almost getting eaten alive by an anglerfish.

This symptom can go as mild as forgetting some random events or even romantic conversations with one’s loving spouse which transpired just about twenty minutes ago.

There are also extreme cases where one becomes unable to recognize his spouse and whom he starts chasing out of the house for mistaking them as thieves breaking into their home.

Problem Finding the Right Words

problem finding the right words
Have you ever encountered someone whom when you were having a conversation with but usually utters a lot of filler words instead of articulating their thoughts?

How about a person who often says, “It’s at the tip of my tongue.” Or “I know the right word but I just cannot seem to find it.” Having difficulties finding the right words to say is one of the signs of dementia.

This is because a part of the memory of a person who has dementia, which is also called semantic memory, is impaired. It leads them to forget a person’s name even if they’ve known them for decades.

Once the semantic memory starts to be impaired, the part of the individual’s memory for understanding and recognizing words are similarly affected.

Easily Distracted

easily distracted
Getting easily distracted is another symptom that is mostly connected to being out of concentration. One who struggles with distractions regularly may experience difficulty meeting deadlines or keeping belongings organized.

If a person usually feels that he is getting quickly irritated with a sudden noise, music or anything that would be considered normal as to others, this circumstance results in making that person inefficient in his daily tasks.

Distractions clearly affect one’s functioning and cause social, academic or occupational impairment. Thus, one feeling this symptom of dementia may find himself overly stressed which may result to behave anxiously.

Misplacing Objects

misplacing objects
Do you know someone who is constantly experiencing forgetting things; the location of the object or item he or she is searching for or even where they placed it?

Misplacing objects is one of the most recognizable signs of dementia.

A person may actually put things in very unusual places, such as remote control in the fridge or wristwatch in the trash bin. If you have someone suffering from dementia at home and he starts hiding things, be cautious of their future activities.

Such a person may not even realize that the items are not his nor do they belong to him.

People who have dementia are not intentionally trying to hide an important item but because of their mental incapacity, they just do not understand what they are actually doing.

Unmotivated

unmotivated
Loss of interest in social activities and hobbies are one of the main outcomes of being unmotivated.

Experiencing this sign of dementia lets that person feel that he is losing the meaning of life. He or she perceives that everything that they do is useless.

Instead of being the old positive risk-taker, this person has now become pessimistic and weak. Unmotivated behavior occurs when other symptoms severely affect your daily responsibilities.

Psychologists have labeled this as having a low level of self-efficacy which is the innate ability to influence the outcome of a project or venture.

People who have dementia also tend to forget thinking of long-term rewards and benefits. At the end of the day, isn’t that an essential element of motivation?

Confusion

confusion
It all starts with losing memory, forgetting names and lacking the ability to complete sentences. This leads to confusion that may begin to irritate the person with dementia.

It is a prevalent sign of dementia when patients get confused for not knowing where they put keys, their wallet, heck, even shoes.

Not just that, it goes so far they do not remember the person they just met. In some instances, they try to fake it, like they know who they are; however, in reality, they have no clue.

For everyone with dementia, it is important to speak openly about their situation, even if it is only about slight memory loss.

Appropriate treatment can help alleviate the condition.

Loss of Feeling for a Time

loss of feeling for time
There are occasions when time or the place of their current location confuses people with dementia.

We identify this sign of dementia when one usually loses track of dates, seasons, due dates and even the passage of time. They may also have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately.

Thus, they have the tendency to forget what another person just said and act as nothing happened.

Worse is, sometimes they may even forget where they are and end up asking the questions, “Where am I?”, “What am I doing here” or even “How did I get here?”.


Alternatively, we can also call this symptom disorientation which may eventually result in having sleeping problems.

Avoiding Company

avoiding company
Sometimes, a person becomes unnecessarily and extremely withdrawn from his surroundings and the people around him.

People suffering from this symptom of dementia spend much of their time alone. Besides, even if they are with others, they may not have much of a conversation with them as they feel lonely or bored with engaging conversations.

They just do not feel comfortable when people are around them.

A person with dementia may find it difficult to initiate a conversation or participate in any social activity. Instead, the affected person may spend much of their time sleeping.

They may also seem disinterested if somebody tries to engage them or offer them something to do.

They are also more likely to lose interest in group interest, such as playing sports or going out for a movie. Instead, they rather choose to stay alone.

Difficulty Managing Money

difficulty managing money
Having money problems may be one of the first noticeable signs of dementia. At the early stages, a person with dementia may be able to perform basic tasks, such as paying bills, among others.

However, the affected person may have difficulty with more complicated tasks, such as balancing a checkbook. A person with dementia may also have trouble counting changes, paying for a purchase, calculating tips or even understanding bank statements.

The person may also not be comfortable, even afraid when he or she talks about money.

Moreover, he or she may sometimes perform unreasonable and unnecessary withdrawals from their bank account.

As the disease gets worse, the person may even try to hide their financial problems to maintain independence from their family and friends.

Rapid Mood Swings

rapid mood swings
A person who has been diagnosed with dementia can go from good to bad mood pretty quickly. Predominantly every living human being experiences mood swings, some more and the others less regularly.

It is hard to feel full of joy all the time, but we definitely need to do something about it when we are down all the time.

A healthy person can control the mood to some extent.

However, when it comes to a person with dementia, their rapid mood swings are uncontrollable. That said, if you are in the company of a person with this condition, their mood swings should not have any effect on you mentally.

Keep calm and understand that they are very likely not aware of their temper.

14 Typical Vascular Dementia Symptoms 2021

14 Typical Vascular Dementia Symptoms 2021

You should be aware of the most common vascular dementia symptoms as it is one of the most widespread. In this day and age, there are hundreds of thousands of people all around the globe that suffer from the condition.

According to the statistics, the number keeps on rising with each passing year. It is expected to be in multiple millions not that many years from now.

While, at the time of writing this, we cannot prevent dementia (any type), we need to be familiar with its symptoms. Only then, we can act accordingly and help ease the disease.

Let’s find out more about the symptoms of vascular dementia.

What is vascular dementia and its symptoms

In short, vascular dementia is when the brain lacks blood flow. In other words, brain cells do not receive enough blood on what damages and even kills them.

Even the smallest brain injury due to poor blood flow can affect the overall condition of a human being significantly.

When the brain lacks blood flow consistently, the effects may cause the development of vascular dementia. One of the most common causes is a stroke.

Bear in mind, although vascular dementia is the second most regular, it is considered underdiagnosed.

That said, today, we will look at the most common vascular dementia symptoms which will give you a better understanding of the disease.

Vascular Dementia Symptoms

1. Sudden and Frequent Headaches

sudden and frequent headaches
Based on the underlying cause and also each individual case from one person to the next, vascular dementia symptoms vary significantly.

However, experiencing sudden and frequent headaches is amongst the earliest signs that someone is suffering from the condition. Headaches can strike any (random) time, meaning, they appear unexpectedly.

When experienced frequently following a medical event like suffering from a stroke is highly likely to have a connection with the onset of vascular dementia.

Vascular dementia comes about when there is inadequate blood flow going to the brain. It could also be the result of damaged blood vessels in the brain and these initial changes manifest as headaches.

2. Confusion

confusion
In essence, Vascular dementia collectively describes reasoning, judgment, memory, and planning problems associated with changes in blood flow supply to the brain.

Confusion is amongst the first of the cognitive symptoms that we associate with the condition. Worth noting is that the symptoms also vary depending on the part of the brain that is suffering from impaired blood flow.

Most of the symptoms are similar to those experienced with other types of dementia particularly Alzheimer’s disease. The weakness to think clearly or suffering from a sense of present awareness accompanies several conditions including vascular dementia.

It marks an inability to process thoughts in a linear way as well as the inability to recall information.

3. Trouble Concentrating

trouble concentrating
A person who has vascular dementia often starts having problems with finishing tasks to their completion. They could start an activity like cooking a meal and find it difficult to follow the recipe causing them to abandon the task eventually.

It is accompanied by a loss of alertness affecting the ability to start even the simplest of tasks. Everyone does suffer from troubles with concentrating now and then.

However, when it comes to vascular dementia the problem is more pronounced and it affects every facet of life. The worsened state also has an impact on a person’s ability to learn new skills or internalize information.

4. Disorientation

disorientation
Disorientation is also one of the vascular dementia symptoms that are common to several other conditions. It affects the sense of direction and may fall on the mild to severe range.

Once again based on an individual’s particular state in terms of the progression of dementia. Also worth putting down is that vascular dementia worsens over time. Meaning, if not diagnosed early enough, it is virtually untreatable.

Also, a majority of these physical symptoms often strike at the same time.

For example, the person might experience sudden headaches followed by confusion or disorientation. The state of disorientation is also often accompanied by blurred vision.

5. Hallucinations or Delusions

hallucinations or delusions
Experiencing hallucinations are quite a common symptom by people suffering from progressive neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

The state of delusion leads a person with dementia to see, taste, hear, smell, or even see things that do not really exist in reality.

It also causes the person suffering from hallucinations to feel frightened, nervous and paranoid around people they do not trust.

Given that experiencing frequent hallucinations points out to an underlying cause, it can help diagnose vascular dementia when seeking medical treatment.

However, given that it is a symptom experienced with multiple other conditions including schizophrenia. It might sometimes lead to a misdiagnosis.

6. Mood Regulation Problems

mood regulation problems
Mood regulation issues are amongst the very initial vascular dementia symptoms a person can experience. When encountering multiple small strokes or other conditions that affect the brain’s blood vessels as well as nerve fibers it might lead to gradual changes in thinking.

It worsens as the damage accumulates and manifests itself through impaired judgment. That is what causes someone with the condition to laugh or cry uncontrollably entirely out of the blue.

A person with dementia might also experience a profound sense of apathy.

They show a lack of interest or enthusiasm in different situations. It may also cause the person with dementia to start behaving in a way that seems out of character or unusual.

7. Difficulty Speaking Or Understanding Speech

difficulty speaking or understanding speech
A person’s inability to express themselves fluently in social situations, as well as their ability to pay attention, might point out to the condition.

The degeneration of neurons, the brain’s cells, affects several body functions that rely on the brain for “direction.” The ability to pronoun words and maintain a normal speed when speaking is one of the challenges people with dementia face.

It is also often accompanied by a slower speed of thought which indeed affects speech processing and response in social situations.

Often, it is a problem experienced by those who have had strokes before and speech therapy works as a treatment option.

8. Memory Loss

memory loss
Memory loss is one of the vascular dementia symptoms that develop over time. The brain more or less functions as a “store.” It stores and retrieves the information to assist the functions of the body.

When paths that relay and convey the essential information is damaged it causes memory loss. This is one of the symptoms that are very much like what is experienced by someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

As a person with dementia suffers from severe cases of disorientation or confusion, it gravely affects their reasoning. It starts with instances of forgetting names or recent events gradually working its way up to forgetting the sequence of daily tasks.

9. Clumsiness and Unsteady Gait

clumsiness and unsteady gait
Attributing clumsiness or an unsteady gait to the condition is not very common. But the two sure are symptoms of vascular dementia.

In reality, several other factors can create an abnormality in walking because prior or underlying diseases are usually the root cause of the problem.

Damages present in the part of the nervous system tasked with controlling movement are what affect gait. It can end up resulting in a long-term problem when left untreated.

In turn, it affects the ability to perform daily tasks. It is most common in people who have subcortical vascular dementia also known as Binswanger’s Disease (BD) which affects the brain’s white matter.

10. Lack of Bowel or Bladder Control

lack of bowel or bladder control
Loss of bowel or bladder control is one of the other symptoms related to the subcortical version of the condition.

Medically referred to as incontinence, the loss of bladder control causes the unintentional passing of urine and it affects millions of people.

Often, it is attributed to aging but several other factors can contribute to developing incontinence. During the initial stages of vascular dementia, the problem is treatable through the various therapies available to people suffering from incontinence.

Treatment options include pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle changes such as cutting back on caffeine and alcohol. Additionally, severe cases require surgical intervention but there are also different incontinence products to alleviate the condition.

11. Numbness Or Paralysis

numbness or paralysis
As the condition progresses, numbness or paralysis is experienced as one of the advanced vascular dementia symptoms. It could attack the face and affect the person with dementia’s facial expressions.

The numbness or paralysis might also affect one side of the face or body, which in turn limits the person’s ability to carry out their daily tasks.

In such cases, round-the-clock assistance from a caregiver is a must to help a person with dementia to carry out their everyday tasks.

Once vascular dementia reaches the full-blown stage, treatment options are insufficient.

While Alzheimer’s drugs can offer some help initially, they only provide temporary relief without necessarily preventing the decline of memory and thinking skills.

12. Lack of Interest in Daily Activities

lack of interest in daily activities
One of the common vascular dementia symptoms is when one loses interest in daily activities. Not only that, but he or she has a problem completing mundane tasks.

What was once kids’ stuff, all of a sudden becomes a struggle.

If you notice a significant change in daily activities in your relative, observe carefully how it progresses. Bear in mind, if it is just a one-time thing, there is no need to call the doctor just yet.

However, if it keeps appearing on a regular basis, taking action is highly advisable. It is the small things and details that we should not miss when watching over an older adult before it is too late.

13. High Blood Pressure

high blood pressure
If an individual has high blood pressure, they are more likely to experience vascular dementia.

Of course, some people have high BP and never get any dementia in their lives. Dementia is a very individual type of disease, meaning, each and every single person experiences it differently.

While high blood pressure is a factor for numerous illnesses, vascular dementia is also one of them.

However, there are simple lifestyle changes one can incorporate that will contribute to better health. With that in mind, a soon as your doctor tells you you have high BP, it is important that you start incorporating a healthy lifestyle immediately.

Of course, you do not want to transition to it in a day, as it might be shocking for your body and you can do more harm than good. Slowly progress to a clean diet, exercise, fresh air, more water and similar over at least a period of a week (if not more).

14. Thinking slows

thinking slows
When the person starts to show the first signs of vascular dementia, one of them is the inability to think accurately. In other words, their thinking slows down, making them take way longer to process the information as they used to.

When it comes to words and sentences, they begin to take the time to go over them before they respond. At this time, as a caregiver or family member, you should be patient. One thing that you must not do is to start urging them to think and respond faster.

This will only irritate the person, which can lead to a fight and other inconveniences.

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