Five ‘warning’ signs of dementia that could ‘ensure early diagnosis’

What is dementia?

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Dementia describes a cluster of symptoms linked to an ongoing brain decline. Being able to identify the warning signs early can buy you precious time to intervene before it’s too late. Fortunately, five “common” red flags could help you get diagnosed promptly, according to a charity.

Although there’s currently no treatment for dementia, an early diagnosis could help you get the right treatment promptly.

Fortunately, there are five “warning common” signs of the mind-robbing condition that could help “ensure an early diagnosis”, according to the Alzheimer Society.

Memory loss is one of the best-known symptoms but other more subtle signs can also crop up.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks

From getting dressed in the morning to preparing your go-to lunch, you probably run on autopilot when completing day-to-day chores and tasks.

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However, if you find yourself unable to follow your daily routine and complete simple tasks that used to be your second nature, it could be a warning sign of dementia.

The charity explains: “A person living with dementia may have trouble completing tasks that have been familiar to them all their lives, such as preparing a meal or playing a game.”

Problems with language

It’s not unusual to lose your train of thought or to be unable to remember one specific word.

However, a person with the mind-robbing condition may start forgetting simple words or start substituting words in a way that their speech becomes difficult to understand.

Disorientation of time and place

From the Christmas period to well-deserved breaks from work, there are certain times when you relax and lose track of days.

However, if you can’t often remember what the day is or why you ventured out somewhere, it might be a dementia sign.

“People living with dementia can become lost on their own street, not knowing how they got there or how to get home,” the charity adds.

Impaired judgment

Life is busy and stressful so putting off seeing a doctor or booking an eye test appointment is nothing surprising.

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However, a patient with dementia may experience changes in judgment or decision-making, such as not recognising a medical problem that needs attention.

You might also find yourself wearing lots of layers on a hot day or stop keeping up with personal hygiene.

Problems with abstract thinking

Alzheimer Society states: “From time to time, people may have difficulty with tasks that require abstract thinking, such as using a calculator or balancing a chequebook. 

“However, someone living with dementia may have significant difficulties with such tasks because of a loss of understanding what numbers are and how they are used.”

How to reduce your risk of dementia

While certain risk factors for dementia like your age and genetics are non-negotiable, others can be easily modified.

From a healthy diet to drinking less alcohol, there are simple lifestyle tweaks that could help.

Similarly to any healthy diet, a dementia-busting food regimen focuses on keeping saturated fat, salt, and sugar in check, while boosting your intake of fibre.

Other lifestyle changes that can also benefit your brain include exercise and quitting smoking, according to the NHS.

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