ABC's of Dementia

 

There are 10 evidence based changes that have been identified as warning signs for dementia. It's about much more than just memory loss.

 

The warning signs involve a change in an individual's abilities, behaviours or how they communicate. Different dementias have different warning signs.

 

By learning the ABC's of Dementia you can help empower yourself with an early diagnosis and improve your ability to live well with dementia.

Alzheimer disease is only one type of dementia. Other types include vascular, Lewy Body, and frontal-temporal.  These are progressive and do not have a cure.

 

Symptoms of dementia can be similar to symptoms of other conditions such as depression, thyroid or heart disease, infections, drug interactions or alcohol abuse.

Abilities

 

The loss of ability to perform basic tasks or a sudden struggle to complete an action that was once routine is a significant indicator of a deeper issue.

 

Occasionally a person may be preoccupied or distracted and miss a step, however, if the order of a task suddenly becomes confusing or functional ability is compromised it may be an indication of dementia.

 

The warning signs:

• Changes in day-to-day abilities

• Difficulty performing familiar tasks

• Disorientation of time and space

• Misplacing things

 

Behaviours

 

Preferences and interests can shift with age, but major changes in core personality traits are cause to talk to a doctor.

 

Sudden and unexplainable decreases in initiative or interest can impact relationships. Other times problems with judgment or decision making may lead to a dangerous situation if not properly addressed.

 

The warning signs:

• Impaired judgement

• Changes in mood and behaviour

• Changes in personality

• Loss of initiative

 

Communication

 

Unusual changes in vocabulary and language are important signs to discuss with a doctor. Some forms of dementia affect the area of the brain in charge of language before memory is even involved.

 

Often these changes will be apparent when incorrect words are substituted in place of others, common words are difficult to understand, or sentences seem hard to follow.

 

The warning signs:

• Problems with language

• Problems with abstract thinking

 

If you notice any of these warning signs it is important to see your doctor.

There are 10 evidence based changes that have been identified as warning signs for dementia. It's about much more than just memory loss.
There are 10 evidence based changes that have been identified as warning signs for dementia. It's about much more than just memory loss.
There are 10 evidence based changes that have been identified as warning signs for dementia. It's about much more than just memory loss.