November is dementia awareness month, so it seems like we should discuss the subject. “Dementia” is a general term, so its symptoms can vary widely from one person to another. Those who have dementia have problems with the following symptoms, says Eat This’ recent article entitled “Sure Signs You May Have Dementia, According to the CDC.”
Memory. “Dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interfere with doing everyday activities,” says the CDC. “Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging.” Memory loss is a crucial signifier, such as forgetting events, repeating yourself, or relying on more aids to help you remember (like sticky notes or reminders).
Attention. Your mind might wander, or you make many mistakes, like misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
Communication. You may have new issues with words in speaking or writing. Difficulty communicating can include trouble following or joining a conversation or struggling to find a word.
Reasoning, Judgment, and Problem Solving. These are challenges in planning or solving problems, such as trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you’ve used for years.
Visual Perception Beyond Typical Age-Related Changes in Vision. If you are having more trouble with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often, it is a sign of dementia.
Other Signs That May Point to Dementia. The CDC says these can be other worrying signs:
- Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Using unusual words to refer to everyday objects
- Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
- Forgetting old memories; and
- Not being able to complete tasks independently
Contact your doctor if you need help. “A healthcare provider can perform tests on attention, memory, problem solving, and other cognitive abilities to see if there is cause for concern,” says the CDC. “A physical exam, blood tests, and brain scans like a CT or MRI can help determine an underlying cause.”
Reference: Eat This (Oct. 3, 2021) “Sure Signs You May Have Dementia, According to the CDC”