9 Dementia Warning Signs

9 Dementia Warning Signs

This summer and fall, events will be held across the nation to draw awareness to the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease. In Colorado Springs, the Jackson Creek team will support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 15 in America the Beautiful Park with many others.

As of 2018, more than 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, a number expected to climb steadily every year. Most people understand that dementia affects memory as well as thinking and reasoning skills. Less commonly understood is the difference between memory changes that come with age and early-stage dementia.

While no one wants to believe that a loved one may have memory loss, it’s important not to ignore telling signs that could indicate something serious. Below are nine common warning signs of early-stage dementia:

Changes in speaking habits

Repetitive “loop” conversations, very limited conversations or unusually short responses

Dietary changes

Spoiled or expired food in the refrigerator, buying the same of multiple items and letting them pile up, missed meals, unexplained weight loss, eating only sweets

Unpaid bills and unopened mail

Stacks of newspapers, magazines and mail piling up

Missed medications

Can’t recall if medications were taken or says they were taken but pills are still in the daily organizer

Poor hygiene

Forgetting to change clothes or wearing soiled clothing

Difficulty with driving and directions

New dents or scrapes on the car, episodes of getting lost, inability to remember directions to well-known locations

Missed or cancelled appointments

Including avoidance of regular social outings and activities

Reclusive behavior

Closing the blinds all day and night, unexplained paranoia, fear of the familiar

Irritability

Confusion and anger that cannot be redirected

If your loved one displays several of these behaviors, schedule an appointment with their physician as soon as possible. While there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s, early intervention can help delay symptoms and slow the disease’s progression.

The Alzheimer’s Association is an excellent resource to help you better understand the complexities of memory loss. Seniors and their loved ones in the Monument, Colorado, area can also turn to the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging.

At Jackson Creek, we host monthly events to help seniors and their loved ones better understand the aging process, as well as memory loss. Our community includes two memory care neighborhoods with studio apartments and comfortable common areas for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory impairment. Our dedicated staff values each resident and receives specialized training to recognize residents’ history, interests, preferences and needs.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and you’re unsure of next steps, our Wellness and Memory Care team can provide you with the support, guidance and care you and your loved one need. If you would like to learn more about our memory care programs or living arrangements, please call 719-259-1331.

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