Recognizing Early Signs of Dementia: What Are They?

Posted on October 15, 2021

Dementia is an “umbrella” term that describes several cognitive inhibiting conditions. Under the “dementia umbrella,” the common variations of this condition include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and mixed dementia.

Many people associate memory loss as the main sign of dementia, but there are other symptoms to be aware of. While dementia affects each person differently, there are common symptoms that signal the onset of the disease and can serve as early warning signs.

As a memory care provider with communities in Carthage and Lebanon, Tennessee, The Pavilion Senior Living wants to support your family in their dementia care journey. Because early detection and diagnosis are crucial when it comes to memory impairing conditions, we are sharing some of the early-stage symptoms to watch out for in your loved one. 

3 Common Early Signs of Dementia

1. Subtle Problems with Short-Term Memory

Yes, memory loss is the most common symptom of any type or stage of dementia, but it can also be an early warning sign. This usually begins subtly and only affects an individual’s short-term memory, meaning that they can recall events from their past but may have difficulty remembering what show they watched on television a few hours ago.

Individuals in the early stages of dementia could experience short-term memory problems by misplacing common items, like their keys or forgetting why they walked into a room. While we have all likely done both of these things before, it becomes a sign of dementia when it happens more and more frequently, affecting daily life.

2. Difficulty with Language

Again, we have all forgotten the word we are looking for during a conversation, but we usually can remember it later. Individuals living with early-stage dementia may do this more frequently and never recall the word. Having difficulty with language can also seep into how a person writes or follows a plot. Even though writing is at a slower pace than a conversation, allowing individuals the time to find the right words, they often have difficulty staying focused long enough to translate their thoughts onto paper. 

Additionally, watching a movie or following a conversation requires a longer attention span. This is why a person living with dementia may repeat themselves during a single conversation or not understand what is happening during a movie.

3. Changes in Mood or Loss of Interest

If you notice your loved one showing less interest in their hobbies or activities they enjoy, this could be an early sign of dementia. Changes in mood, shifts in personality, and loss of interest in the things they once enjoyed can all stem from the onset of this condition.

According to Healthline, “one typical type of personality change seen with dementia is a shift from being shy to outgoing. This is because the condition often affects judgment.” 

If you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one, reach out to their physician. Getting an early diagnosis is the best way to figure out the best treatment plan.

Download Our Free Resource: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Symptom Tracker

Supportive Memory Care in Tennessee

The Pavilion Senior Living proudly offers compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our team members are specially trained on managing the challenges associated with memory impairments, and we focus on providing person-centered care to each resident and family we serve.

Our memory care neighborhoods in Lebanon and Carthage, Tennessee, provide a safe and secure environment designed to meet each residents’ needs. All of our activities and programs encourage engagement, connection, and social wellness.

Memory care services at The Pavilion Senior Living include:

  • Specialized programming
  • Secure living environment
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Caring and supportive team members
  • Medication management

When someone you love receives a dementia diagnosis, you likely worry about their safety and what the future holds. Our mission at The Pavilion Senior Living is to create a safe, comfortable environment that allows residents to maintain as much independence as possible while offering peace of mind to families.

Our Alzheimer’s and dementia care communities focus on each individual’s strengths and interests to enhance their quality of life and promote cognitive functioning. To learn more about what our communities have to offer, we invite you to contact a member of our team.