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Early Signs of Dementia

It is common to experience some difficulties with memory at some point in life and there are many factors that could explain this. Many of them are manageable and do not necessarily mean dementia is the cause. Some contributing factors that might cause memory difficulties could be stress or a change in your emotional or physical health. In some cases, however, those changes can be a clue to early cognitive decline. Here is a list of some potential early signs of cognitive decline.

Short term or recent memory loss

  • Increased forgetfulness (losing where you parked your car, or forgetting the way home from someone’s house)
  • Difficulty remembering things even after being reminded
  • Forgetting words in a sentence more frequently

Difficulty performing known tasks

  • A noticeable difference in your ability to perform a task that usually poses no issue
  • Frequently making mistakes in the workplace that have never been a problem before

Disorientation to time and place

  • Losing your way in a well-known area: for example forgetting the way home from work or when walking your dog
  • Having trouble recalling what month, year or day of the week it is

Errors in judgement

  • People close to you may be concerned about your spending
  • Making rash decisions while driving or nearly causing accidents

Losing or misplacing objects

  • Putting things down and forgetting where you left them more frequently than usual
  • Forgetting you put things down at all in the first place
  • Leaving items in irrational places, such as putting your reading glasses in the fridge or car keys under the sink

Changes in mood

  • Experiencing significant changes in how you feel socially or emotionally
  • Experiencing mood swings that are becoming more frequent
  • Family members noticing you are more irritable, upset or emotional
  • Changes in mood can also be an indication of depression. It is always worth a trip to your doctor to investigate.

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