Memory problems – People with dementia might have problems retaining new information. They might get lost in previously familiar places and may struggle with names. Relatives might notice the person seems increasingly forgetful, misplacing things regularly. However, we all forget a name or face once in a while and this is nothing to worry about. If it happens on a frequent basis, it’s advisable to visit the GP who can check why this may be happening.
Cognitive ability, i.e. processing information – People with dementia may have difficulty with time and place, for example, getting up in the middle of the night to go to work, even though they’re retired. Also their concentration could be affected. There may be a difficulty when shopping with choosing the items and then paying for them. For some people with dementia the ability to reason and make decisions may also be affected. Some people with dementia get a sense of restlessness and prefer to keep moving than sit still; others may be reluctant to take part in activities they used to enjoy.
Communication – People with dementia may repeat themselves often or have difficulty finding the right words. Reading and writing might become challenging. They might experience changes in personality and behaviour, mood swings, anxiety and depression. People with dementia can lose interest in seeing others socially. Following and engaging in conversation can be difficult and tiring, and so a formerly outgoing person might become quieter and more introverted. Their self-confidence might be affected.
Dementia can be seen as a combination of one, or all of the above symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, which have been occurring for a while and are progressively getting worse, then please arrange a visit to the GP. There are many other reasons someone might be experiencing confusion or memory problems, so it is best to get them checked out and treated if necessary.
To find out more please visit the Dementia UK website.