To help you know the warning signs to look for, the following is a list of the common symptoms of dementia. Read the list and check the symptoms that concern you. If someone you know shows signs of many of these symptoms they should see a doctor for a complete examination.

1. Memory Loss/Changes in Memory

It is normal to forget business meeting or telephone numbers or appointments with friends occasionally but remember them later. People with early onset dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease may forget things more often but not remember them later.

2. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks

Busy people can be distracted from time to time and have vegetables on the cooker and only remember to serve them at the end of the meal. People with dementia might prepare a meal and not only forget to serve it but also forget they made it.

3. Problems with Language and Communication

Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes but a person with Alzheimer’s disease may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words making his or her sentence incomprehensible.

4. Disorientation Of Time And Place

Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes but a person with Alzheimer’s disease may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words making his or her sentence incomprehensible.

5. Poor or Decreased Judgement

People can be so immersed in an activity that they temporarily forget the child they are watching. People with dementia could entirely forget the cooking dinner or the running tap. They may also dress inappropriately, wearing several blouses, shirts or cardigan etc.

6. Housekeeping Problems

Balancing a cheque book or handling financial affairs can be difficult at time for everybody. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease could forget completely what numbers mean, fail to recognise paper money, what it means and may burn it, throw it away, or hide it.

7. Misplacing Things

Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places i.e. an iron in the freezer, shoes in the fridge or cups in the hot press.

8. Changes in Mood or Behaviour

Everybody can be sad or moody from time to time. Someone with Alzheimer’s disease can have rapid mood swings; can go from calm to tears, to anger and for no apparent reason.

9. Changes in Personality

People’s personalities change somewhat with age. A person with Alzheimer’s disease can become suspicious, fearful, withdrawn and uncommunicative.

10. Loss of Initiative

It is normal to tire of housework, business activities, or social obligation. People with Alzheimer’s disease may become very passive and require prompting and encouragement for him or her to become involved.

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