Did visiting Dad make you worry they are showing signs of Dementia?
As our society changes and families become even more distant than before, we leave larger amounts of time between visits, missing the opportunity to constantly check-in on our loved ones. This results in a higher number of people calling with concerns about the wellbeing of their family members, concerned they may have Dementia having spent time with them on Father’s Day.
The following Dementia signs may offer some clarity, allowing you to seek dementia care and medical assistance for your loved ones.
Have you noticed any of the following Dementia warning signs?
Please list any concerns you have and take this sheet with you to the doctor. (Note: This list is for information only and not a substitute for a consultation with a qualiﬁed professional).
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Is Dad forgetting recently learned information/important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aids (e.g. reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own?
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Is he having trouble keeping track of monthly bills? They may have difﬁculty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
Does Dad have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of his favourite game? These tasks may have been straightforward before, but now present a challenge to the individual.
4. Confusion with time or place
Is he losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Does he forget where they are or how they got there?
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. Do they have difﬁculty reading, judging distance and determining colour or contrast? In terms of perception, he may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room, and may not recognise his own reﬂection.
6. Problems with words in speaking or writing
Does he have trouble following or joining in on a conversation? He may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or he may repeat themselves. He may struggle ﬁnding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g. calling a watch a “hand clock”).
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
Is Dad putting things in unusual places? Sometimes those showing signs of Dementia accuse others of stealing which can then begin to occur more frequently over time.
8. Decreased or poor judgement
Is he experiencing changes in judgmentally or decision making? For example, he may use poor judgement when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. On the other hand, he may pay less attention to grooming or keeping himself clean. It’s best to ask yourself what he is typically like – then flag any changes.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
Is he removing himself from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports? He may have trouble keeping up with his favourite sports team or remembering how to complete a favourite hobby. He may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
10. Changes in mood and personality?
Is Dad becoming frequently confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious? The may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where he is out of his comfort zone.