Watch for These Signs of Dementia This Holiday Season
From the second the door swings open and your elderly loved one wraps you in a warm embrace, through the joyous holiday meal and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is really doing and if any warning signs of dementia are noted.
There are specific indicators which can suggest cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is now more and more common in seniors, and because early diagnosis and treatment are fundamental, the dementia care team at Hired Hands Homecare recommends monitoring for any of the following common signs and symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s disease throughout your holiday visit this year:
- Social differences. According to John Ramsay, CEO of Shift 8, “Dementia can cause people to become closed-off, avoiding any sense of social interaction.” Focus on any signs both in the senior’s conduct and conversations that point to his or her inclination for reclusiveness and isolation, particularly if your parent has always enjoyed socializing.
- Mood shifts. Depression, anxiety, and apathy tend to be aspects of early dementia. The illness impacts a person’s ability to process and manage emotions, sometimes caused by the inability to recall what prompted a bad emotion, leading to increased irritation.
- Loss of memory. Troubles with memory are the heart of Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, short-term memory. Take note of if the senior generally seems to struggle with recent occurrences, but is able to fully be involved in conversations concerning the past.
- Problems with altered routines. Observing a feeling of disorientation, anxiety or agitation is common through the holiday season, due to its probability of disruptions to the usual routine. Individuals with Alzheimer’s may fall back heavily on familiarity and may appear out of sorts when deviating from the usual.
- Physical differences. Note any evidence of a decrease in hygiene or in the cleanliness and organization of the home, particularly if the senior has previously been thorough in maintaining a sense of order.
Any concerns including these ought to be brought to the attention of the senior’s primary care physician as quickly as possible.
And, it is important to have a reliable senior care partner on hand who understands the nuances of dementia and other concerns of aging, and can supply the specialized help which enables aging parents to stay safe and well. Call Hired Hands Homecare, the top provider of dementia care in Santa Rosa and nearby areas, at (866) 940-4343 to learn more about our highly skilled, specialized dementia care team and for a free in-home assessment to discover how we can help.