People forget things all the time, but forgetting things one too many times may be cause for concern. Not remembering why you came into the kitchen or a certain room can happen to anyone, but you may wonder whether or not you are developing dementia if this happens a lot and you are in a certain age range.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia, or neurocognitive disorder, is the loss of thinking, reasoning, or remembering to the point where it interferes with everyday life/activities. There are several forms of dementia, but the most common is Alzheimer’s disease in people aged 65 and older, according to neurologists. The second most common form is vascular dementia, caused by conditions that affect blood vessels in the brain, such as stroke. Finally, the last form is a brain disorder known as Parkinson’s disease dementia.
Although dementia is more common as you get older, it is not a normal part of aging. People can live well into their 90s without ever being diagnosed with the condition. The National Institute of Aging (NIA) continues to research the disease to find out who is more susceptible and how it can be prevented. For now, the NIA considers the following signs and symptoms to be early warning signs of dementia.
Changes In Judgment
Anybody has the opportunity to make a poor decision every so often. People with dementia, or early onset symptoms, may experience more frequent changes in judgment or decision-making. A great example is that people with dementia may not be able to manage a budget or, more commonly, they neglect their hygiene more regularly.
Trouble Completing Tasks
A lot of older people, even those who aren’t so old, require assistance learning new technology or appliances. People with dementia typically find it much harder learn technology and complete routine tasks that they used to do with ease. Driving to a familiar location or creating a grocery list can become difficult and trivial, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Episodic Memory Loss
Memory loss tends to be one of the earlier symptoms of dementia, with episodic memory loss being the first noticeable sign. A person may remember going on vacation, for example, but they can’t remember where they went or what they did. Episodic memory involves remembering specific information about recent or past events. People with dementia may not remember where they parked the car or where they went for dinner the previous week. Oftentimes, the person with dementia does not notice that they have episodic memory loss; rather, a friend or family member points it out.
It is completely natural to become more set in your ways as you get older. It is easy to get upset if your normal routine is disrupted, but coping with stress and change is more challenging among older adults. In fact, depression in older adults is quite common as a result. People with dementia are occasionally unable to control their emotions, or they may become suspicious, confused, depressed, or fearful. It’s common for them to become upset at home, with friends, or when outside of their comfort zone.
Problems With Language
It is not uncommon to search for the right word when trying to communicate verbally or in writing. People with dementia tend to have a much harder time with language, though. They may have trouble finding words for familiar things or call someone or something by the wrong name. It is also possible for them to repeat themselves or lose track of a conversation.