One of the things that people worry about the most when it comes to going into their senior years is the potential onset of dementia. Keeping yourself healthy and following a good diet with regular exercise can be one of the best ways to ensure your mind and body stay healthy well into your golden years. But it is also important to notice if you have any of the early warning signs of dementia and to talk to your doctor about this, as well as to the people around you, who can help to ensure you stay safe.
Here are some of the signs to look out for:
Confusion and Memory Loss
One thing that people report is that they have more episodes of losing things, forgetting what they are doing, or becoming confused at previously familiar things. While everyone at every age has the odd moment where they forget what they went into a room for, or misplaces something, if you are finding that this happens a lot, then it could be a sign of dementia.
If you are starting to find it harder to remember the words you want when you are talking or writing, or are finding your reading comprehension isn’t always as good as it used to be, then this can be a sign of dementia. You may find that you don’t remember how to spell words or you can’t recall the names of people you know as well as you normally could.
Coordination and Mobility Problems
Another warning sign of dementia can be having difficulty performing physical tasks, even when there is no injury or pain present. You may walk more slowly and unsteadily, and have problems with more coordinated tasks, like playing a musical instrument that you know how to play, or throwing and catching a ball. This isn’t always dementia related, and can be the result of physical rather than mental signs of aging. Be sure to exercise regularly and put a focus on strength training to make sure your posture and body structure stays strong – get a reliable medical alert system so that you can train with peace of mind. If you feel like coordination issues are not the result of muscle weakness or other physical issues, then dementia could be the cause.
A fourth signal that you could be experiencing early dementia is if you have problems with your concentration. Everybody has a different attention span and ability to focus on one task for long periods of time, so you need to go on what is normal for you. If you find you can’t concentrate on a previously simple task, or you find that while reading you need to keep going back and re-reading the same thing over and over before you actually take it in, or you get easily distracted when people are talking to you and don’t hear what they say because of it, then these can all be signs of dementia.
If you find you have trouble keeping track of time, or sometimes forget where you are, and become disorientated, this can be a warning sign too. It can be normal to have trouble remembering what day of the week it is, especially when you are retired and don’t have a schedule, but if you feel confused about time and places a lot and it makes you feel anxious, rather than quickly figuring it out, then this can be a symptom.
These are some of the things to take note of if you are experiencing them, and to talk to someone about, while the dementia is in its early stages.