The symptoms of dementia can be different from person to person. Individuals with dementia commonly have problems with memory, communication, paying attention, reasoning, judgment, and making sense of what he or she sees (Alzheimer’s Association, n.d.).
People with dementia lose items they frequently use. They may forget to pay bills. They may have problems with planning, preparing meals, and forgetting to go to important appointments (Alzheimer’s Association, n.d.). Dementia is a risk factor for self-neglect.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. In fact, one in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). There are ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease:
- Memory loss that disrupts the person’s daily life,
- Challenges in the ability to plan or solve problems,
- Difficulty in completing even familiar tasks,
- Confusion with time or place,
- Trouble understanding visual images and recognizing objects,
- New language problems, especially words in speaking or writing,
- Frequent misplacing important items (e.g., car keys, purse) and losing the ability to retrace steps,
- Decreased or poor judgment. If the person’s perception of his surrounding is altered, the judgment is also likely to be poor and not based on reality,
- Gradual but steady decline in social activities, and
- Changes in mood and personality (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016).
Sixty one percent of people 70 years of age and older with Alzheimer’s are expected to die before they reach their 80th birthday (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). Of people in the same age group but without Alzheimer’s disease, only 30% are expected to die before the age 80. This means that the risk of dying is twice as high (doubles) when the person has Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016).
Please visit the Alzheimer’s Association for useful resources and information on coping with dementia.References
Alzheimer’s Association. (March, 2016). Know the 10 signs: Early detection matters. Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/national/documents/tenwarnsigns.pdf
Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.). What is dementia? Retrieved from http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp
Dementia.org. (2014). There are dementia symptoms that are treatable. Retrieved from https://www.dementia.org/treatable-reversible-forms-of-dementia
Last updated: by
I. M. Abumaria, AGPCNP-BC