In light of the news that Barbara Windsor has been battling with Alzheimer’s, we wanted to give you some signs to look out for in loved ones who may be experiencing dementia. Dementia itself is a collection of symptoms that are usually caused by another illness such as Alzheimer’s. People of all ages can experience dementia, but one in 14 risk developing dementia over the age of 65. If you’re worried about dementia in a loved one, we have compiled a list of some of the key indicators to look out for:
1. Memory loss One of the more common symptoms, memory loss can indicate early symptoms of dementia. Not only might they forget someone’s name, but they might also forget who the person is in relation to them.
2. Confusion If your loved one is getting confused about times of the day or seemingly minimal tasks, this could also be an early sign of dementia. They might find it particularly difficult to put on clothes or count change.
3. Changes in mood Your loved one might be more irritable than usual or more emotional. They could also be spending more time alone and show less emotion.
In the later stages of dementia, you might witness the following signs in your loved one:
1. Severe memory problems By the time someone reaches the later stage of dementia, they might be unable to recognise family and friends or remember where they live. They may also only remember parts of their past memories.
2. Problems with eating As dementia progresses, they might have more trouble swallowing food, which means that they could potentially lose weight and have more frequent infections due to the effect on their immune system.
3. Behavioural problems You might see your loved one have aggressive or depressive symptoms and more anxiety than usual. This could be cause by their own confusion as they might not know where they are or who they’re with.
Some of the above could be part of natural ageing, but there is no harm in seeing your GP if you are worried about a loved one. For more information on dementia, you can visit https://www.dementiauk.org/.