Monday, September 1, 2008
The early signs of dementia are subtle and vague, and may not be immediately obvious. They say signs of dementia are often mistakenly viewed as part of the normal aging process. Lack of health screening programs may mean early signs of dementia are missed, or attributed to other aspects of learning disability, and opportunities for potentially useful health and social care interventions are lost.
Memory loss is a very broad term that can mean any deficit in memory function. Memory loss is a common health complaint particularly in the elderly. The most vulnerable parts of the brain are those used for memory and for planning, organising and judgement, social skills and balance. At first, memory loss and trouble thinking clearly may bother the person who has dementia. Dementia affects a person's memory and concentration, and this in turn affects their judgement. Other symptoms include personality change, memory disturbance, slurred speech, impaired judgement and psychiatric problems.
Dementia causes many problems for the person who has it and for that person's family. If your family member has some of the signs of dementia, try to get him or her to go see a doctor. Physicians may begin a dementia workup or exam when the patient's family brings concerns about symptoms or behavioral signs to their attention. Keep in mind, examination of a will and terms of a living will are in order at this time. Also see to the execution of a power of attorney.