Aging is a natural and beautiful part of life. After all, there is much wisdom gained plus being able to finally retire is a great luxury. Yet, there are less happy side effects that come along with aging gracefully. Dementia can be daunting especially for those family members and friends who aren’t sure how to approach the subject with their loved one.
Perhaps you’ve always looked up to your parent or family member and now you suspect their mind is slowly dwindling. The person you love is changing and he or she doesn’t even know it. Learning to spot the signs of dementia in aging parents or other beloved seniors can provide helpful insight to doctors providing for better care.
Keep track of any and all signs in your phone or a journal. If your loved one is especially sensitive or even in denial, submit your recordings in writing to the doctor. It’s important to remember that HIPAA authorization is not needed in order for you to share concerns with the health professional. Include details such as: when you first noticed symptoms, specific symptoms, changes in their routine or behavior and how often he or she struggles.
Understand the Symptoms
Knowing what to look for is key when taking notes. Early signs of forgetfulness is a common symptom. While having lapses every now and then is normal, daily forgetfulness is an early warning sign. Another symptom is having trouble learning something new. If you notice your parent avoiding new activities or even struggling to grasp a concept, take note.
Watch out for bills piling up or your parent struggling to manage their finances. In addition to having trouble keeping track of their finances, losing track of time and poor judgement are two other symptoms to watch out for. Remember occasional forgetfulness is normal but forgetting the day, month or year along with other important dates are red flags.
As for poor judgement, look for behaviors out of the norm for your loved one. You know what’s normal for them so keep track by jotting down in your journal or phone. Additionally, not remembering other important commitments frequently is another warning sign.
Finally, losing interest in formerly favorite activities is a warning sign along with a constant repeating are key to look for. Watch out for verbal repetition such as repeating the same comment over and over or repeating stories on the daily.
It is not easy watching your loved one’s mind slowly drift away but catching the signs as early as possible is key to getting them the help they need. Remember, you have the opportunity to be your parent’s biggest advocate so now it’s time to fight for them during this trying time.
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At Hands and Hearts Home Care, we understand the challenges you and your loved ones face concerning dementia. If you're ready to speak with someone about hiring a caregiver, give us a call today to find out how we can help!