When many people hear the word dementia, they tend to think of memory loss. While dementia and memory loss often go hand in hand, this condition can affect individuals in many more ways than that.
The National Institute on Aging states, “dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning – thinking, remembering, and reasoning – to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.”
A thorough understanding of dementia symptoms is critical for managing the condition and being proactive about cognitive health. As a memory care provider in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, our team at Uplands Village wants to help you by sharing dementia symptoms beyond memory loss.
According to Johns Hopkins, “Studies find that people with Alzheimer’s disease [a form of dementia] spend more time awake than those without. In fact, changes in sleep patterns may be an early sign of the disease, with one study finding that the brains of older adults with poor sleeping habits were more likely to have amyloid plaque deposits, the sticky protein fibers that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.”
While problems sleeping can be common among older adults, people living with dementia often have an even harder time. “Sleep disturbance may affect up to 25% of people with mild to moderate dementia and 50% of people with severe dementia.”
If you or someone you love is experiencing trouble sleeping, you should speak with a healthcare provider to determine if an underlying health condition is causing it.
Confusion with Time or Place
The Alzheimer’s Association states, “people living with Alzheimer’s [or another type of dementia] can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.”
Dementia often affects a person’s short-term memory before their long-term memory, causing individuals with dementia to get confused about what year it is or even where they live. For example, they could believe that they still live in a home that they have not lived in for years.
Difficulty with Language
There are times when all of us have forgotten what we were trying to say or cannot find the word we are looking for, but we usually recall it eventually. However, a person living with dementia may have more difficulty, forgetting simple words or substituting words that don’t make sense in the context.
Additionally, it can be more challenging for a person living with dementia to maintain their train of thought. As a result, they may stop in the middle of talking with the inability to go on.
Trouble Completing Familiar Tasks
Humans are creatures of habit; we have our routines and tasks we do regularly or even daily. Another common dementia symptom is if a person is suddenly unable to follow their normal routine or has trouble completing a familiar task, like using their television remote. “Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game (Alzheimer’s Association).”
Changes in Mood and Personality
Changes in a person’s mood, shifts in their personality, and a loss of interest in what they once enjoyed can also be signs of dementia. Healthline states, “someone who has dementia may… seem more fearful or anxious than they were before… One typical type of personality change seen with dementia is a shift from being shy or quiet to being outgoing.”
Dementia affects each person differently, and several conditions fall under the “dementia umbrella.” Understanding dementia and its symptom can help you be proactive in your health or the health of someone you love.
Our team at Uplands Village is proud to provide exceptional memory care services to individuals and families in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee. Our innovative programming and home-like community improve the quality of life of those we serve. Memory care residents at Uplands Village receive the comfort and support they need with around-the-clock personal care, and they experience purposeful living that contributes to their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Visit our website or contact a member of our team today to learn more about our memory care services and Life Plan Community.