Dementia is one of the worst health conditions a human being can face. It robs us of our ability to function, muddles our cherished memories, and can eventually become terminal. While there is, unfortunately, no known cure for dementia, there are ways to slow its progress. Here are some warning signs that all women should be aware of. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to a medical professional as soon as possible.
1. Short-Term Memory Loss
We all have moments when we struggle with our short term memory. Things like forgetting why you walked into a room, where you just set down your car keys, what that person just told you their name was, and other similar short term memory issues happen to us all. However, this memory loss becomes a serious problem when situations like the ones mentioned above happen multiple times throughout the day. If you find that you’re becoming more and more forgetful, this could be an early sign of dementia.
2. Difficulty Choosing Words
Language skills come naturally for most people. Because it’s so natural, we often speak without really thinking about the words we choose. When someone has to stop mid-sentence to find the words they want to use, that’s a warning sign. This is especially true if someone is struggling to recall common words or a word that they use all the time. If you find that you’re rummaging through your brain for words you use daily, talk to your doctor right away.
3. Problems With Concentration
Focus and concentration actually require higher-order brain function. They seem second nature, so we don’t normally think of them that way. When someone has dementia, however, focus and concentration become extremely difficult. If you find that you’re having difficulty making plans, are struggling with numbers, or realizing that following your favorite TV show or favorite game is harder than ever, that might be a sign of dementia.
4. Difficulty Understanding Time
Time is something we take for granted. It’s natural to us to understand the function of time and its role in our lives. People with dementia lose the concept of time. Often, those in the early stages of dementia will lose track of time, their mind wandering off without paying attention to the clock. If you find that time is passing by very quickly or you that you’re having difficulty measuring time in your head, you should speak with your doctor.
5. Difficulty Recognizing Where You Are
Like time, we often take spatial relationships for granted. We know our homes, our workplaces, and other familiar spaces like the back of our hands. With dementia, these common places suddenly become foreign. If you find that you don’t recognize rooms in your home, forget how to get to work, or easily forget where you are, that could be due to a decline in mental function.
People in the early stages of dementia often have depression over their condition. This depression can eventually lead to lethargy. This in and of itself is not a sign of dementia, but when combined with other factors, could be. If you’re lethargic and depressed, talk to a doctor to try to identify the underlying health problem causing it.