It is difficult to accept the fact that serious mental decline in elderly years, or even before, could affect almost anyone. In many cases, the signs of dementia or other cognitive impairment can be difficult to spot as they can sometimes seem like commonplace forgetfulness. However, if any Georgia resident has concerns that a loved one may be exhibiting signs of cognitive decline, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is wise.
Though many cognitive impairments associated with the elderly, like Alzheimer’s disease, do not have a cure, early intervention and treatment could help slow the disease’s progression. An early diagnosis could also allow an individual to get his or her personal affairs in order, particularly relating to estate planning and end-of-life wishes, while still having the majority of his or her faculties and decision-making abilities. If the disease progresses too far before these decisions are made, someone else may have to make important decisions for that loved one.
Some of the early signs of dementia to remain aware of include:
- Having difficulty communicating or finding the words to express their thoughts
- Experiencing short-term memory issues, which may not seem concerning at first but can point toward dementia
- No longer feeling interested in favorite activities and hobbies
- Struggling to complete everyday tasks, like making meals, driving or basic hygiene
- Having the same conversations over and over
- Repeating the same tasks
- Having sudden mood swings
- Seeming confused
This list does not show every early sign of dementia or other cognitive issues, so it is important to keep in mind that any concerning behaviors may be worth having assessed by a medical professional. If a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a similar condition comes about, it may be wise to consider estate planning measures if none are in place. Of course, even without this diagnosis, Georgia residents may want to ensure that their wishes are known and legally binding.