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Dementia Care - Symptoms of Dementia

Symptoms of Dementia

Memory Loss

Usually recent memory loss is remarkable. Patient may forget names, routes, passwords etc. But he can remember well his days in younger age or school name or birth date, etc.

Person may get confused in unfamiliar environment & may get lost.

Difficulty in finding the words.

Changes in personality & behavior

Depressive symptoms, loss of interest may be there.

Early symptoms are often mild, called as cognitive impairment, slowly get worse. This is the right time to treat patients with current medications.

Some patients develop forgetfulness slowly while others fast.

Vascular Dementia symptoms usually develop suddenly but slowly recover & they may persist without much worsening.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies develops visual hallucinations & their activities become slower as Parkinsonism increases.



Fronto-Temporal Dementia

Fronto-Temporal Dementia typically has more changes in behavior & personality than Memory. Usually these develop very quickly, may be in months. This develops early in sixties & person may be working before onset. Symptoms corresponding to frontal lobe like repetitive behavior, difficulty in language, Mood disturbances may be there.



Later stages

As dementia progresses memory become more disturbed. Patients tend to forget names of near relatives, also daily routine of person may get affected. They tend to forget to eat & sleep. They can’t take care of themselves & may need assistance in everything. They may find difficult to understand simple information, tasks or instructions.



Communication

There may be difficulty in speaking or may loss ability to speak. There is need to communicate them with nonverbal communications like touch & gestures.



Mobility

Gradually their movement get restricted. They can’t move without support & may become bedbound. Sometimes rigidity may develop due to less movement. There are chances of bedsores which eventually lead to ore seriousness.



Incontinence

actually they are not incontinent; they forget toilets & pass urine & stool anywhere. Diapers may be required, sometimes they are unwilling to use diapers & then the real problem occurs.



Eating

Loss of petite & weight loss is common in later stages. It’s important to give them food on timely basis, sometimes multiple times as they forget or may say I just ate. Swallowing difficulties are common, may lead to choking. Aspiration pneumonias are common.