Early Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

21 September | By

It’s normal to forget things from time to time. Memory problems can be a natural part of ageing and sometimes caused by something that can be treated such as stress, anxiety or depression. However, it can also be a sign of something serious, such as dementia.

If you continue to have problems with your memory where it starts to affect your daily life, especially if you’re over 65, it’s a good idea to see a GP.

What is dementia

Dementia is a syndrome in which brain functions deteriorate beyond what is expected from the usual effects of ageing, i.e. the ability to gather and process thoughts, make decisions, solve problems and communicate.

Types of dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms develop gradually and eventually become severe enough to interfere with daily activities. According to WHO, Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to up to seventy percent of dementia cases globally.

Other types of dementia

–Vascular dementia
–Dementia with Lewy bodies or DLB
–Frontotemporal dementia
–Mixed dementia

In the UK, there are currently 944,000 people living with dementia. However, due to the gradual nature of dementia, the mild early-stage symptoms and the low diagnosis rate, it is difficult to know the exact number of people living with the condition.

The number of people with dementia in the UK is projected to exceed 1 million by 2025.

Early signs and symptoms of dementia

Dementia affects everyone differently and early symptoms are often overlooked because the onset is gradual. According to World Health Organisation, common early signs of dementia may include:

–Losing track of the time
–Becoming lost in familiar places
–Changes in mood and or emotion
–Difficulty with communication

Forgetfulness or memory problems

Memory problems such as forgetting recent knowledge is one of the most common symptoms in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Others include forgetting significant dates or occasions, losing track of the time, repeatedly asking the same questions, and becoming more dependent on family members or memory aids for tasks people living with dementia used to be able to complete on their own.

Becoming lost in familiar places

Even in a familiar location, a person may become disoriented and lose their bearings.

Changes in mood and behaviour

Individuals living with dementia may experience changes in mood and personality. They can often be more anxious, irritable, suspicious, sad and confused. They may also lack self-confidence and lose interest in hobbies or people.

Difficulty in communication and language

Having trouble finding the right words is a common age-related change. People living with dementia may struggle with vocabulary and following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue.


There is currently no cure for dementia. However, there are medications and other treatments that can ease some of the symptoms and, if diagnosed early, help slow down the progression of the disease.

Specialist care and support

Whilst thirty-nine percent of people with dementia are living in care homes (either residential care or nursing homes), the majority of those suffering from the illness are continuing to live in the community, with the help of care providers.

As one of the leading homecare providers in the UK, our teams have over thirty years of experience supporting and caring for people living with dementia to continue to live an independent life at home.

Our care workers are professionally trained and educated to understand dementia, allowing us to provide clients with the best care possible.

We understand the importance of continuity and familiarity to people living with dementia and work to enable them to continue living at home in a comfortable environment surrounded by memories, with individually tailored one-to-one support.

To learn more about our dementia care service, please click here or contact us on 0800 124 4765 or email care@halesgroup.co.uk

With Hales Homecare, you’re always in good hands.


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