As our loved ones age, whether they be our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., it is important to be mindful of any changes in their behavior, especially if there is any family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s. While these conditions require a diagnosis from a doctor, you can be vigilant regarding any early warning signs. After all, no one knows your senior loved one better than you do, so you are likely going to be the first one to spot any abnormalities or changes.
Here at the dementia assisted living facilities near me, the team wants to share a few early signs that you should be aware of. Documenting them can help spot a diagnosis right at the beginning, which could lead to a better quality of life for your senior.
1.) Struggling to remember or find the proper words.
While we have all been there before and struggled with a word at the tip of our tongues, a regular recurrence of this is typically not normal. If you notice that your senior seems to consistently forget what they were talking about mid-sentence, or they replace real words with nonsense ones (‘that one thingy’ or ‘that deal over there’), it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. As discreetly as possible, try to track how often this occurs.
2.) Unable to keep track of time.
Once again, how often this occurs matters. Forgetting a doctor’s appointment or what time you were supposed to meet a friend happens to even the most careful planners. But once it becomes a regular occurrence, that’s when it becomes a red flag. Pay attention to how often your senior forgets about dates and times, and how often they need to be reminded about what the current date or even month is.
3.) Loss of interest in hobbies or activities.
Everyone has a hobby or interest they love and actively engage in. Photography, going on walks, a fitness class, sewing, painting, watching sports, just to name a few. But if your senior suddenly stops finding joy or showing interest in their favorite hobbies or activities, this is another dementia warning sign. If the change isn’t due to a recent surgery or other physical condition, this is something you should note down.
4.) Difficulties managing finances.
The next time you go over to visit your senior loved one, keep track of a few things. Is their electricity on? What about their water? Do all of the utilities seem to be working? If not, this could be an indicator that they are behind on making payments. Normally, this isn’t due to a lack of funds, but rather, forgetfulness. If you notice any late payment warning or bills piling up on the coffee table, it may be time to look into dementia assisted living facilities near me.
5.) Engaging in unsafe behaviors or making poor decisions.
We all know that eccentric uncle who is a daredevil loves to skydive or go on crazy wilderness trips in desolate regions. However, if you spot your senior loved one engaging in unsafe behaviors or making poor decisions on a day to day basis, that’s when it becomes an issue.
For example, keep your eyes peeled to see if they are spending more money than usual, especially if they can’t remember what they bought. Or maybe, they forgo wearing their seatbelt in the car or forget to turn the stove off after cooking a meal. These can all be warning signs as well.
6.) Struggling to learn something new.
New technology or apps can be a struggle for many older adults. If they have always had a hard time with the TV remote, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. However, if you have recently observed them have a rough time handling a new kitchen appliance when they’ve always been good at cooking, this can be concerning. If they are still having difficulties after you provide some basic direction, this is yet another red flag.
7.) Regularly repeating themselves.
“Hey, did I ever tell you about the time…” Might be the opening phrase, only for it to lead to a story you have already heard a dozen times over. If it is starting to feel like certain stories, jokes, and questions are coming in on a feedback loop, this can be concerning. Forgetfulness of this nature is one of the key indicators of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment
While these signs are not a complete list, any single one of these red flags can be a cause for concern. It is important to schedule a doctor’s appointment and get your loved one an examination right away. There, their physician will be able to run tests and perform screenings to help them find out if it is dementia, or something else entirely. Bring along any notes you already have regarding their changes in behavior and share those with the doctor.
Dementia Assisted Living Facilities Near Me
If you do find that your senior has been given a dementia diagnosis, it can be a difficult time. However, thinking ahead and creating a care plan in advance can really help, especially while your loved one is in the very early stages of the disease. Oftentimes, this means finding long term care that will help your senior once they reach the point where it is unsafe for them to live alone.
Here at Oakleigh, our memory care community can do just that. Our staff is highly trained to help care for those diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, as there are some attributes with this illness that require a delicate approach. This space is also specially curated to provide a wealth of activities that are both fun and engaging, all while housing the senior in a safe and secure living environment.
If you have any questions about our community, do not hesitate to contact us right away! We’d be happy to talk more about the services we offer. Plus, you can book a tour of our grounds or even check out our photo gallery on our website.