As our mothers age, we may see changes in them that impact our relationships. Often these changes may be the result of the onset of early dementia. Be aware of these signs.
- Forgetfulness and Memory Loss
The most common symptom of most types of dementia is memory loss. Early onset of this disease can cause a person to forget entire conversations that took place only minutes ago. Early dementia usually affects short-term memory first. Your mom may have trouble remembering important dates and events and ask for the same information over and over again.
- Lack of Concentration and Increased Confusion
Getting confused about times and places is a common indicator. Your mom may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than she did before. She may forget where she is or how she got there. She can lose track of the seasons and the general passage of time.
- Losing Things
A person with early dementia may begin to put things in increasingly unusual places. Your mom may lose things and be unable to use the simple method of retracing her steps to find the items. This situation can even escalate into accusations of theft when they cannot find a personal belonging that they have unknowingly misplaced. This can lead to paranoia, and having “hiding spots” to foil the perceived thief.
- Difficulty Doing Familiar Tasks
This condition also affects the ability to do normal, everyday tasks. Your mom may also have trouble remembering how to drive, or cook a favorite recipe. Her symptoms can include a problem with depth perception, judging distance and even seeing colors.
- Personality Changes and Mood Swings
Watch for changes in personality and sudden mood swings. She could become fearful, suspicious, depressed or anxious. Your mom might have been an outgoinging social person and has become tentative and shy. If you notice an increase in any of these signs, notify your mother’s physician.