When you’re caring for an elderly person, you may be wondering what age dementia symptoms are.
If so, you’re not alone . . .
When Betsy’s daughter Pat noticed her mother no longer knitting complex patterns, she became concerned.
Betsy always knit.
She knit when it was stylish . . .and when it wasn’t. As a child she learned to knit from her grandmother.
Knitting gave Betsy much pleasure. It was her way of relieving stress and coping with tragedy.
Pat feared losing knitting meant she was losing her mom.
Because Pat wondered if it could be a sign of dementia, she scheduled an appointment for Betsy to be evaluated medically.
Like Pat you may be concerned that someone you love has early symptoms of dementia.
The symptoms covered in Part 1 of this series include . . .
- Memory loss.
- Language problems.
- Difficulty with routine tasks.
- Inappropriate behavior.
- Getting lost.
Other symptoms include . . .
- Can’t tell time.
- Mood swings and sudden outbursts of emotion.
- Poor judgment and loss of abstract thinking.
- Sleeping problems.
- Personality changes and apathy.
These problems can be caused by things other than Alzheimer’s disease or another age related dementia. So when they occur they should be evaluated medically.
Losing the ability to tell time.
Maybe you notice she can’t read a clock or understand a calendar.
Mood swings and sudden outbursts of emotion may be challenging.
Are you noticing mood swings? Sudden bursts of anger . . .violence . . .crying and other emotions can all be associated with age related dementia.
Poor judgment and loss of abstract thinking.
While anyone may from time to time make an error in judgment, when your loved one experiences major changes in behavior or big errors in judgment you need to seek help.
Having a pot boil over on the stove may happen to anyone who gets distracted. When someone turns on the stove and then walks away forgetting it’s on, that’s different.
And potentially a fire hazard!
What’s “loss of abstract thinking?”
“Loss of abstract thinking” is a sign of losing complex thinking skills. Sometimes it’s first noticed when someone is unable to do a series of tasks they’ve done easily in the past. It takes different forms and can include things like . . .
- Losing the ability to balance a checkbook or pay bills . . .
- Inability to follow knitting instructions by a long-time knitter or . . .
- Having difficulty following a conversation.
Is she sleeping during the day and up at night?
Agitated at night?
While occasional insomnia may not be concerning, changes in sleep can signal an underlying problem—and can make life difficult for the caregiver.
How? Well if you have someone who’s wandering the house at night and possibly more confused at night, you may be waking up to get them into bed before they get hurt.
Personality changes and apathy.
A calm quiet-spoken person may become loud and agitated, while a happy person may become depressed.
Or is she suddenly irritable . . .suspicious . . .fearful . . .even passive?
She may want to stay home and not see people she’s enjoyed for years.
What do these symptoms mean?
While these symptoms are often associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to get a medical evaluation to exclude other causes of these symptoms.
And while some of these symptoms are more likely to appear early in a disease such as Alzheimer’s, others appear later as the disease progresses.
Are you a caregiver with someone who’s showing age dementia symptoms?
While the disease may progress, maybe you can still help them feel useful.
Perhaps you can help them do something they’ve always loved, although now a simpler version—or one you do as a team.
Some examples include . . .
- Simple word puzzles for a crossword enthusiast.
- Garter stitch scarves or dishcloths for a knitter. Or knitting odd shaped pieces that you can later sew into a lap robe . . .an afghan . . .or a pillow.
- Working together on jigsaw puzzles for a jigsaw puzzle fanatic.
Are you dealing with these problems?
Concerned your loved one may be losing her memory?
May be you want to help her show people she loves they’re special . . .
Or may be you and your family want to show her how special she is.
Before her dementia robs her — and you — of that chance . . .
You get to tell people they’re important to you.
Anonymously! And it can easily be used to show family and friends how much you — or your loved one — care about them.
It’s F-R-E-E — and FUN! Plus there are some great prizes available!
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
“The Knitting Dr.”
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