Even in its early stages, dementia can have a big impact on personality and memory. Understanding these changes can help people living with the condition, and their loved ones, to better cope with the disease.
1. Memory loss can accelerate fast
Memory loss is often the first sign of dementia. Even in the early stages of the disease, memory loss can accelerate fast, making it difficult for those living with the condition to remember recently learned information and other important facts.
2. Plans can be hard to follow
Following plans or instructions can become difficult in the early stages of dementia. Even using a recipe or keeping track of monthly bills can quickly become a challenge for people living with the condition.
3. Completing familiar tasks can become a challenge
In the early stages of dementia, you or your loved one may find it increasingly difficult to complete familiar tasks. It’s not unusual to forget where you’re going or to lose track of your route halfway through a drive to a familiar place.
4. Times and places can become confusing
It’s not uncommon for those in the early stages of dementia to lose track of dates, seasons and even years. This can be a confusing and worrying experience. Provide your loved one with memory aides to help them work out exactly what day, month and year they’re in.
5. Spatial awareness can become a challenge
Dementia can cause problems with spatial awareness and balance. People in the early stages of dementia may find it difficult to judge distances accurately. This can make things like driving and walking in busy areas a real challenge.
6. Words can be hard to remember
Those in the early stages of dementia may find words difficult to remember. They might find that they get stuck halfway through a sentence and can’t find the words they need to continue.
7. Losing the ability to retrace steps
Dementia can cause people to put things in unusual places and can make it difficult to retrace your steps or think back through your day. This can be a frightening experience, especially in the early stages of the disease.
8. Poor judgement
Poor judgement in the early stages of dementia can cause those living with the condition to make bad decisions about things like money. They may struggle to remember how much money they have and find it difficult to budget.