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Dementia: Early Warning Signs

Many people fear that either they or someone they love will eventually get dementia. It is easy to understand why this would be a concern, dementia robs people of the one thing that is perhaps most important to virtually every human on earth. Dementia takes away their ability to remember special moments with loved ones who may or may not still be living and it completely transforms a loved one until they essentially become a stranger. It is extremely difficult on both the individual that is experiencing dementia and on the loved ones who must witness it. As a result, many people become fearful about this disease, especially as age progresses.
However, being acutely aware of dementia early warning signs is the most effective way to mitigate the circumstances of the disease and to treat it as effectively as possible. While there is no cure for dementia as of yet, recognizing the warning signs early on does provide additional treatment options and may slow the progression of the disease significantly.


It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the difference between early warning signs of dementia and the natural aging process. It is normal for people to forgets things sometimes or to get something mixed up. However, when an older person forgets something or misunderstands something, many people immediately respond with the idea that they must be experiencing the early signs of dementia. Therefore, it is vitally important to recognize that the occasional forgetfulness that every person experiences does not necessarily constitute the onset of dementia, even when it occurs in people of advanced age. The early warning signs of dementia include:

  • Repeated and frequent forgetfulness accompanied with an inability to remember important past memories.
  • People experiencing dementia may become confused easily and have a tendency to get agitated when they are unable to remember things or to recognize individuals from the past.
  • Inability to recall familiar faces or remember names of people that have been present in a person’s life for years.

While these are typically signs that should indicate that something may be wrong, it is possible that they can be signs related to the aging process or to stress. More advanced signs include getting lost, not being able to remember a home address or forgetting holidays and birthdays.

As a result, any person who is suspected of having dementia should be evaluated by a medical professional as quickly as possible. It is not possible to definitively determine if a person is suffering from dementia or merely suffering from normal memory loss associated with the aging process without a thorough examination by a medical professional. Therefore, any time that a person experiences the warning signs listed herein, an evaluation should be conducted. Once the problem is identified, the proper treatments can then be started.