Your memory is what informs your decisions and helps you process information and understand the world around you. If something were to happen that took your memory away, a major part of your identity would be lost. This is why dementia is both tragic and dangerous. As victims lose their understanding of the past, they also lose the ability to face the future. It is important to be on the lookout for symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, about 50 million people internationally have dementia. If you or a loved one exhibits symptoms, it is vital to consider care and estate planning. In the meantime, watch out for the following signs that can appear in the early stages of dementia.
1. Loss of short-term memory
It is not uncommon for your short-term memory to weaken as you grow older. You might find it increasingly difficult to recall names and small details you could easily remember 10 or 20 years ago. If the problem persists, however, it can be indicative of dementia. Onset usually begins with loss of short-term memory, so you should closely monitor this problem.
2. Sense of confusion or apathy
Struggling with memory might come with a rising sense of confusion or apathy. With a lessened understanding of the present and past, people with dementia might express confusion towards their circumstances and forget how to perform daily tasks. A sense of apathy is also a common response as confusion gives way to a lack of care.
3. General changes in behavior
Any major change in behavior and disposition you should consider a potential sign of dementia. If you see an inexplicable increase in aggression, irritability or depression, these might all be indicative that your (or your loved one) is experiencing the early stages of dementia. Get medical care and take the necessary steps to establish plans for personal care and the estate.