REAL Services is northern Indiana’s resource for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their caregivers. Find a REAL Services office near you today.
When you think of Alzheimer’s or dementia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Probably memory loss, right? It makes sense. After all, that is the first and most common symptom of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
But that’s not the only symptom. In fact, dementia has several other symptoms — and some of them have little to do with memory at all. Here are some that you should know about:
Changes in personality
If someone who is normally shy is suddenly outgoing or if someone who is normally happy suddenly becomes depressed, it could be an early sign that they have dementia. Major personality changes like these are sudden and can fluctuate, and are usually the first sign to family and friends that something might be off.
Struggling to follow storylines
In the early stages of dementia, some people struggle to understand a story from beginning to end. This could manifest in everyday conversations with loved ones telling a short story about something that happened to them, as well as while watching TV or a movie.
Short-term memory loss is one of the first symptoms of dementia, and that can be scary and frustrating to experience. Because of that, a person might experience rapid mood swings or become angry to the point of rage quickly.
Inability to concentrate, even on everyday tasks
People in the early stages of dementia can sometimes struggle with concentration. They may not be able to complete a task all the way through or they may be easily distracted. Also look out for tasks that seem complete but are missing, such as forgetting to put soap in the laundry or only serving part of a meal. They might also struggle with puzzles or games.
Struggling to communicate
Someone in the early stages of dementia may struggle to find the right word and substitute an incorrect word. They might also have trouble understanding what other people mean and may ask for clarification.
A common symptom in the early stages of dementia is becoming confused and disoriented, even in familiar environments. Someone may forget how to navigate to places they visit often or in some cases forget how to find objects in their home.
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with a primary care physician. There are more than 120 conditions that cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, so make sure to get an accurate diagnosis and a care plan.
REAL Services is the only organization helping local Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and their families with their day-to-day needs. Do you need help? Call REAL Services at 574-233-8205. REAL Services & Home Comfort Experts are All In For Alzheimer’s.