Did you know that each year, after Christmas, social services departments across the country see a sharp spike in call numbers? 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, having spent time with them over Christmas.
If you’re unsure whether you have experienced something similar over the Christmas period, the following 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.
Are they 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.
Are they having trouble following a familiar recipe or 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.
Do they have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of their favourite game? These tasks may have been straightforward before, but now present a challenge to the individual.
4. Confusion with time or place.
Are they losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. Do they 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, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room, and may not recognise their own reﬂection.
6. Problems with words in speaking or writing.
Do they have trouble following or joining in on a conversation? They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They 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.
Are they putting things in unusual places? Sometimes they may accuse others of stealing which can then begin to occur more frequently over time.
8. Decreased or poor judgement.
Are they experiencing changes in judgmentally or decision making? For example, they may use poor judgement when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. On the other hand, they may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. It’s best to ask yourself what they are typically like to then flag any changes.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
Are they removing themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports? They may have trouble keeping up with their favourite sports team or remembering how to complete a favourite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
10. Changes in mood and personality?
Are they becoming frequently confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious? They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
Our fantastic team of live in carers are experienced in understanding the different stages of Dementia, and are trained with coping mechanisms to help support individuals and their families.
To find out more how we can help you or a loved one, please call our care team on: 0808 274 8170