Dementia is a group of symptoms. These symptoms affect memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. A diagnosis of dementia is not based on memory loss alone. Other issues with awareness, judgment, language or difficulty doing routine activities in the home or community appear with dementia.
Many of us experience normal forgetfulness as we age. Don’t worry. Walking into a room and forgetting why or forgetting where you put your keys isn’t cause for alarm. It’s OK if you can’t remember names as well as you did 5 – 10 years ago.
If you have concerns for yourself or someone you love, you should take note of these 10 early symptoms from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Usually a first step to diagnosis is a conversation with your primary care provider. Although this is a difficult thing to do, it’s the best way to benefit from the available treatments and therapies. Being open about problems allows you to explore and begin effective coping strategies. Treatments may provide some relief of symptoms.
Everyone’s goal is to maintain independence as long as possible. The right care and support services can help you and your loved one live well longer.
Your primary care provider will evaluate your overall health and identify if any reversible conditions are responsible for the recent difficulties that are being observed. You and your loved one may be referred to a specialist such as a:
As people age, behavioral health problems beyond dementia can develop. If you have any questions or concerns, see your primary care provider. Having the right information and guidance can help you and the people you care about live well.