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What Are the Early Signs of Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms related to an impaired ability to think, to remember, or to make decisions in a way that interferes with daily living.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms related to an impaired ability to think, to remember, or to make decisions in a way that interferes with daily living. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but changes to the brain can also occur as the result of a stroke, as a side effect of medication, or from other injuries or illnesses. No matter the cause, living with dementia or caring for a senior who struggles with dementia can be challenging. Recognizing some of the early signs can allow caregivers to get help for a loved one sooner. Memory care programs in Peoria, Arizona, like the one at The Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living, are a good place to start.

Symptoms of Dementia

Since dementia is a general term that covers a wide range of cognitive issues, symptoms can also vary greatly from person to person. Some common signs to look for in yourself or your loved one include:
  • Memory loss: More than just forgetting where you left your keys, this type of memory loss is significant, such as the inability to remember a close loved one’s name or being consistently unable to recall recent events like a conversation had minutes prior.
  • Difficulty with attention or concentration: Repeatedly asking the same question, having trouble following a normal conversation, or being unable to complete a simple task are important signs of cognitive decline.
  • Communication problems: Using the wrong word to describe familiar objects, forgetting common words, and having difficulty talking can all occur.
  • Mood or personality changes: Some forms of dementia affect the frontotemporal part of the brain, which can lead to impaired judgment that results in risky behavior or inappropriate comments in public.

When to Consider Professional Memory Care

The signs of dementia can sometimes be subtle and worsen gradually. It might be difficult to know exactly when you need professional help for your loved one. If cognitive decline presents a danger to them or others, for instance, if they wander away from home and then become confused and disoriented and can’t find their way back, it’s a good time to look into professional memory care. In addition, if they are no longer able to complete daily tasks like bathing, grooming, and cooking for themselves, it can quickly become an overwhelming and stressful environment for an untrained caregiver like a family member. If you are facing this type of situation, memory care programs can provide respite and relief for both you and your loved one.

Memory Care in Peoria, Arizona

At The Mission at Agua Fria, we are proud to offer a memory care program that incorporates art, sensory integration, music, and pet therapy with compassionate, licensed, certified staff. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is safe in our state-of-the-art secure environment. Enrichment programs and stimulating specialized activities programs are available to engage them intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually. When needed, trained staff also provide assistance with daily living tasks such as dressing, bathing, and meals. Feel free to contact us today to discuss your options and find out how we can help you and your family.