Dementia slowly changes a senior’s personality and quality of life. However, Westfield, NJ, caregivers sometimes have a difficult time detecting early dementia symptoms because they can be easily hidden and are often mistaken for age-related memory loss. Denial can cause seniors to use strategies to hide their dementia symptoms out of a fear of losing their independence. If you’re concerned your elderly loved one is developing dementia, watch for these 4 warning signs he or she might be hiding the symptoms.
1. Refusing to Participate in Favorite Pastimes
Perhaps your father suddenly refuses to go for a round of golf, or your mother decides out of nowhere that cooking dinner is no longer her favorite activity. If your loved one exhibits behaviors such as these, you should be concerned about the possibility of dementia. Not only does a lack of interest in favorite hobbies signify depression, but it is also possible your loved one is no longer capable of remembering how to do things that once came easily.
2. Attempting to Cover Up Problems
Over time, dementia can lead to serious problems such as car accidents or forgetting to take medications. You may discover unpaid traffic citations or other signs things have been amiss in your loved one’s life. It is also important to note your loved one’s spouse may be covering up issues caused by dementia because he or she may also be in denial.
3. Making Excuses for Memory Lapses
If your loved one forgets to take medicine or cannot recall a recent memory, he or she may make excuses for the reduction in mental acuity. Your loved one may claim to be tired or act as if the forgetfulness is a side effect of a new medication. Though most seniors occasionally experience minor memory loss, there may be cause for concern if these forgetful moments seem to be occurring more frequently.
4. Denying Things Have Changed
Although most caregivers are prepared for denial when they suspect their loved ones have dementia, many seniors with dementia are actually unaware of their condition. This is due to changes in the brain that make a person feel his or her cognitive skills are normal. Having a trusted physician explain the diagnosis to your loved one may be helpful. However, you may need to hire a caregiver from a Westfield, NJ, home care agency to keep your loved one safe as the disease progresses.
Help your loved one get the help and support he or she needs to manage dementia symptoms by contacting Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia home care Westfield, NJ, families trust, and all of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to boost brain health and help seniors manage memory-related conditions like dementia. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call 908.450.9400 today.