Symptoms Of Dementia
Symptoms of dementia emerge slowly, worsen over time and restrict a person's ability to function.
The initial symptom of dementia is usually loss of memory. Although everyone's memory lapses from time to time, the memory loss of dementia is more profound, affecting ability to function. For example, forgetting where you put your car key is normal, but forgetting how to use the key is a possible symptom of dementia.
Usually, family members and friends are better able than the person who has dementia to recognize that something is wrong. The affected person may deny having any memory loss or difficulty with complex tasks.
As dementia progresses, a person may experience difficulty expressing thoughts as spoken words, difficulty carrying out simple instructions and difficulty interpreting familiar faces or other well-known objects.
A person with early Alzheimer's disease may not be able to plan meals, manage money, remember to keep doors locked or take medicines. He or she also may lose their sense of direction and get lost while driving or walking, even in a familiar neighborhood. A person with early Alzheimer's disease is, however, usually able to feed, bathe, dress and groom himself or herself without help.
Many people who develop dementia also experience psychological problems, such as personality changes, irritability, anxiety or depression. When these types of symptoms appear, relationships with family members and friends can become strained, especially if symptoms appear before the disease is diagnosed.
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