To many, dementia is a clichéd movie concept.
To some, it is a tragic reality.
Dementia is a state which interferes with quotidian functioning. Unlike what many people believe, this disease isn’t simply caused by mental ailments. The cause of dementia is the product of a number of conditions which resonate with one state of mental impairment.
Statistics show most patients living in this condition are aged over 60, highlighting a key demographic which is being affected by this problem. For some who feel someone they know might be facing a similar predicament, it is very important to understand the early signs of dementia.
Key signs of this condition are given below:
1) Difficulty in finding the right words
One of the first signs exhibited by dementia patients is the acute difficulty they face in framing or finding words to build a sentence during a conversation. Patients often find describing events or thoughts difficult due to inability to find the perfect way to frame their thoughts. Conversing with the patients can sometimes be tedious as the time taken to finish a conversation may take too long.
2) Memory impairment on a small level
Another early sign of dementia amongst patients is the blurring of events which takes place only a few moments back. Patients are known to be forgetful about personal items they might have kept somewhere. On the other hand, patients are able to recall events which transpired many years ago before they were afflicted with dementia. This suggests a clear compartmentalization of memories before and after a person is in the state of this disease.
3) Disillusionment with social life
The plucking away of social life is one of the major symptoms of dementia. Patients who were otherwise very sociable and comely become disillusioned with social life and lose interest in meeting family or friends. This breakdown from a social construct can sometimes prove to be extremely painful for family and friends.
4) Mood swings
Although mood swings are very common amongst people in general, the same problem in dementia patients is at a very different scale. Depression without any discernible cause is a common occurrence amongst dementia patients. Furthermore, the condition tends to warp a person’s inherent personality traits. For instance, an introverted person in a state of dementia might have episodes when he/she will behave like an extroverted person. This is primarily caused due to a lack of judgment.
5) Relative obscurity in doing basic tasks
The final nail in the coffin is finding extreme difficulty in completing simple chores. Due to a misplaced sense of judgment and memory, patients are not able to complete simple tasks at times due to their inability to construe a series of actions.
6) A State of Confusion
A dementia patient is often in a state of confusion in the early stage. This state arises when his memory or judgment lapses. The reason for this confused state is his incapability in remembering faces, discovering the right words and interacting with the people in a normal state.
The patient can be in utter confusion in a number of situations. Sometimes, he finds himself incapable of finding his lost car keys, forgetting about someone he has met before.
Treatment of dementia depends critically on the stage at which the condition is first diagnosed. Common methods such as rehabilitation are considered by many families to re-establish certain brain functions the patient has lost. Another method which people consider is occupational therapy, which focuses on training patients do a set of chores which eventually help them take care of themselves.