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May 2023

Early Signs of Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms associated with a decline in the functions of the brain. Commonly associated with older people, it can affect people at any age, and common signs include:

  • memory loss
  • difficulty concentrating
  • finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks
  • getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  • getting lost in familiar places
  • struggling to follow a conversation or finding the right word
  • being confused about time and place
  • mood changes 

Although there is currently no cure for dementia there are treatments available to help slow the progression and ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. This can significantly improve the quality of life of both the person with dementia and their loved ones. 
Despite the undoubted challenges faced by people living with dementia and their families, it is important to remember that people can lead full, active, and enjoyable lives. Research shows that social, intellectual, and creative pursuits can help to improve morale, mood and health for someone living with dementia.    
Social support, from family, a carer or specialist support groups is one of the best ways to help someone living with dementia.
Many people who are living with dementia tell us that being able to talk to someone who is experiencing the same difficulties as they are is enormously helpful, helping them to realise they are not alone. It is important to remember that problems with memory can also be caused by other things such as stress, menopause, medication, anxiety, and depression. If you think you or someone you know is displaying signs of dementia, you should speak to your GP so that treatable causes can be identified. Dementia can be difficult to diagnose, and your GP may refer you to a specialist healthcare professional for scans and memory tests which may confirm the diagnosis.
Further sources of information and support can be found at the following organisations: