The early signs of dementia will vary and be different for each person. They will also differ depending on what dementia the person is living with. It is also important to understand when you or your loved one experiences the symptoms that you rule out other health conditions. As an example, not being able to concentrate could be because of depression which is common in older people and not the early signs of dementia.
Also being confused may be a side effect of taking medication. Some memory changes are natural as people age however, symptoms of early dementia will progress and gradually get worse over time if you are living with the condition.
The rate of this progression will be different for each person. So, what are the early signs of dementia?
Memory loss is the most common early sign of dementia. A person will find it increasingly difficult to remember recent events but will still be able to remember events of long ago. They may frequently forget dates and where they have put things.
It may also cause them to be repetitive in asking for things or for information as they forget what they have asked for. Getting lost or feeling lost in familiar surroundings are common ways dementia affects memory.
The person may also find it difficult to concentrate or follow conversations as they forget what has been said.
Planning and organisation is also impacted in the early signs of dementia. This could include difficulties completing tasks and day-to-day activities that had been familiar, such as going to the shops or to work.
Numbers may also present problems for people living with the early signs of dementia who may find number organisation difficult, for example paying a bill. Planning life may also prove a challenge that results in a person, who is usually organised, being unnaturally disorganised.