In the early stages of dementia, some of the symptoms may be similar to those of age-related memory loss, but catching these symptoms early can help delay additional complications. If you have noticed your senior loved one picking up the following habits, Lancaster in-home care experts recommend getting a professional diagnosis to ensure he or she receives proper treatment.
Does Your Loved One Withdraw from Social Activities?
Social situations are often the most difficult for individuals in the early stages of dementia. It may become difficult for your loved one to recall names or to follow conversations involving multiple people, so he or she avoids these situations out of fear others will notice this confusion. If you see your loved one starting to shy away from social activities he or she used to enjoy, you should take the time to determine the underlying reason.
Is He or She Increasing the Use of Memory Devices?
People in the early stages of dementia often compensate by using notes, reminders on their cell phones, and other memory devices. You may have noticed your loved one has become a compulsive note taker or list maker, but your loved one might attempt to explain this by saying he or she is just trying to be more organized. If your loved one forgets things despite making notes, encourage him or her to see a doctor and consider hiring a Lancaster dementia caregiver.
Does He or She Rely Too Much on a Spouse for Help with Daily Tasks?
In many cases, spouses will attempt to cover for each other if one develops memory problems. One spouse may suddenly start to take on the duties that used be handled by the other. For example, you may notice your loved one’s spouse is paying the bills when this task used to be your loved one’s domain. Some gentle questioning can help you determine if the role reversal is simply a matter of convenience or if there is a deeper problem.
Are There Stacks of Unopened Mail?
Math and money skills are among the first affected by dementia. This can make it difficult for your loved one to handle tasks like paying bills or balancing a checkbook. Your loved one may become so frustrated that he or she ignores the situation and doesn’t even open mail. If you notice stacks of mail or unpaid bills, ask your loved one if he or she would like help sorting through everything. This can help determine if your loved one is just having financial difficulties or if he or she is developing dementia.
If you have noticed your loved one facing challenges with his or her memory, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are trained in the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Lancaster, we also offer specialized care for seniors with Parkinson’s and those who have experienced a stroke. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (717) 540-4663 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.