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Dementia is a term used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases and conditions. They have in common a serious loss of brain function that is usually progressive. It is a fact that more and more people are suffering from dementia, and the older we get the more we run the risk of developing Dementia, but it is not an inevitable part of ageing.

Symptoms can include confusion and problems with communication and memory, however, you may see similar symptoms that are not signs of dementia but are related to other treatable conditions. For example, confusion may be caused by an infection or low mood by depression.

The number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to double in the next 30 years and there are over 100 different forms of dementia. 

Recognising the early signs of dementia is not easy as many of them can also be attributed to normal ageing, stress or depression. It's important to be aware of the early signs of dementia as an early diagnosis it can be a monumental help for treatment. Here's a list of symptoms that are often associated with the early signs of dementia. If someone experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a physician for a proper diagnosis.

COGNITIVE CHANGES

Difficulty or issues in any of the following cognitive areas are early signs of dementia should be brought to a physician's attention immediately.

• Memory loss is the most common symptom in forms of dementia. While occasionally forgetting names or appointments is normal, for a person showing early signs of dementia, forgetfulness will occur with increasing frequency.
• Finding it difficult to complete familiar tasks is another symptom and one of the early signs of dementia. Everyday tasks can seem unfamiliar to someone displaying the early signs of dementia.
• Language problems: a person in the early stages of dementia will forget simple words or use unusual terms.
• Disorientation: a person with early signs of dementia will be unaware of their surroundings even in familiar places.
• The difficulty with abstract thinking: Complex mental tasks or ones that require several steps may become difficult to perform and is one of the early signs of dementia.
• Poor Judgment: An inability to make sound decisions based on information is another possible symptom of dementia.
• Putting Things in the wrong place is another early warning sign is placing objects in inappropriate or nonsensical places, such as putting keys in the refrigerator.

BEHAVIORAL CHANGESMajor shifts in personality, behaviour and mood or energy are also early signs of dementia.
• Personality: A noticeable shift in personality can be an early sign of dementia. Sometimes personality changes are hard to pinpoint, but take note if the person isn't acting in accordance with his or her normal patterns of behaviour.
• Behavior or mood: Persons showing the early signs of dementia can suffer from rapidly changing moods, resulting in an individual experiencing various emotions ranging from rage to sadness and complete calm within the course of a few minutes.
• Sleeping for prolonged periods of time, sitting for hours watching TV or otherwise not speaking with anyone are other early warning signs.

Detecting dementia early is important. Dementia is a symptom of multiple diseases and injuries and noticing early signs of dementia is critical to getting an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment.

Reporting of any concerns is vital, you should discuss this with your manager or other carers.