Estate Planning For Peace Of Mind

What are the early warning signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Elder Law |

Celebrities like Wendy Williams and Bruce Willis have put new faces on the battle with age-related cognitive decline. 

Most people still think of dementia and Alzheimers as something that only strikes the very elderly, but cognitive disorders like these can and do occur in people who are still in what should be their productive years. The increased awareness of just how insidious Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be has prompted a lot of people to learn more.

Spot the early signs of trouble in a loved one

Recognizing the early warning signs of cognitive decline can help you and your loved ones seek better treatment and make plans. Red flags include:

  • Memory loss: Memory loss is one of the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. While a little forgetfulness due to age, stress or illness can be expected, it should trouble you if a loved one starts repeatedly asking the same questions, forgets recently learned information or starts forgetting familiar names, places and events.
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks: If your loved one suddenly forgets the recipe of a favorite meal, can’t remember how to work certain appliances or loses their way while driving a familiar route, it may be time to seek medical guidance.
  • Communication challenges: Difficulty finding the right words, following conversations or understanding simple instructions can all indicate a cognitive decline.
  • Impaired judgment: Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect a person’s judgment and decision-making abilities. They may exhibit poor judgment in financial matters, neglect personal hygiene, or make irrational choices. This can pose safety risks and lead to vulnerability in various situations.
  • Personality changes: Mood swings, irritability, apathy and withdrawal from social activities are common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Victims may experience uncharacteristic shifts in personality, exhibiting behaviors that are out of character for them.

If you suspect that you or your loved one may be suffering from some form of dementia, it’s time to speak with a physician. Knowledge can help you take the appropriate steps to better safeguard your future and your estate.