Age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, especially for those over the age of 65. After this age, the risk of developing dementia doubles about every five years.
Dementia early signs are very subtle and may not be immediately obvious. However, it is very beneficial to be able to recognize and diagnose dementia early. Signs of the disease that appear early on may include:
- Memory problems, specifically remembering recent events
- Increased confusion or disorientation
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Apathy, withdrawal, and depression
- Loss of ability to perform everyday tasks
People may fail to recognise that these symptoms are an indication that something is wrong. They may assume that it is simply a normal part of the aging process. Dementia’s early signs will develop gradually and tend to go unnoticed for a long time.
People with dementia can live meaningful and productive lives for many years after an early diagnosis. Acting on dementia early signs and getting a diagnosis sooner allows both the individual and family members to learn about the disease, set expectations, and plan for the future.
Here are some benefits of recognizing dementia early signs and getting a diagnosis.
1: Know what to expect
Some treatable conditions have symptoms that are similar to dementia’s early signs. For example, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders, alcohol abuse, or depression. That’s why it’s important to speak with a medical professional right away if you notice any changes in behavior or ability.
2: Use treatments more effectively
Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is typically more effective when started early on in the disease’s progression. This includes medications as well as some alternative therapies.
3: Focus on what’s important
Recognizing and diagnosing dementia early signs allows you to set priorities based on what’s important to you, whether that’s taking time away from work, spending time with family, or traveling.
4: Be empowered in your choices
Earlier in the disease’s progression you’ll be able to participate more actively in your own healthcare decisions and future plans. You can make informed decisions about legal, financial and care matters and make your wishes known to your family and friends.
5: Take advantage of resources
Both you and your family can benefit from support and education programs that can help you learn how to live well with dementia. If your family can understand the challenges that come with dementia, they’ll be better able to support you and get the help that you need.
Compassionate Assisted Living & Memory Care Communities in Michigan
At Courtyard Manor, we offer a safe and comfortable place for your senior loved one to age. Our philosophy, training, and engagement focuses on meeting your loved one where they are. This unique approach provides comfort, joy and a higher quality of life for those with dementia. Schedule a consultation to learn more about our assisted living communities.
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