Early warning signs of dementia

Every person is unique and dementia affects people differently - no two people will have symptoms that develop in exactly the same way. In observance of World Alzheimers Month, we take a look at the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. While symptoms vary, there are broad similarities. If you think these problems are affecting your daily life, or the life of someone you know, the first step is to talk with your doctor. Then, consider how an adult day center such as Cambridge can help you or your loved one maintain their independence.

Memory Loss

Short-term memory loss is the most common early symptom of dementia. It's normal to sometimes forget, for example, our next-door neighbor's name, but you still remember that person is your next-door neighbor. A person with dementia will forget the name, and the context.

Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks

A person with dementia may not know what order to put clothes on, or the steps to preparing a meal.

Problems With Language

Beyond simply struggling to find the right word, a person with dementia forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words.


It's not unusual to forget the day of the week, or to walk into a room and forget why you're there. People with dementia become lost in familiar places such as their neighborhood, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get back home.

Decreased Judgement

People with dementia may dress inappropriately for the weather or the situation.

Problems Keeping Track of Things

Someone with dementia may have trouble following a conversation or keeping up with their bills.

Losing Things

How many times have you lost your keys, or mislaid your glasses? We all do that. But a person with dementia will put things in odd places, like in the refrigerator or the microwave.

Changes in Mood

Persons with dementia may become unusually emotional and experience unexplained rapid mood swings.

Trouble With Images and Spatial Relationships

Image problems are different from typical age-related problems such as cataracts. People with dementia can have difficulty reading, judging distances and determining color or contrast.

Withdrawal From Work or Social Activities

A person with dementia may become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or losing interest in hobbies.

Can we help?

Once you've visited with your doctor, give us a call to see how we can help you or your loved one. We specialize in patient with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

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