Seven Early Signs of Dementia

It’s a question that we all ask at some point after we hit 50.  I just forgot something… is it dementia?

With age, it is normal to occasionally forget some things.  Our brains are like file cabinets:  the older we get, the more stuff we have filed away.  And the more we have filed away, the easier it is to misplace something or take a long time to find it.

It’s not normal, however, to do this regularly.  The following is a list of symptoms that indicate you might be experiencing more than normal forgetfulness.

1. Repetition: You ask the same question, or make the same statement, many times within a conversation

2. Challenges in following stories: You find it hard to follow the plot of a movie or television program

3. Reduced sense of direction:  You have increasing trouble recognizing landmarks or finding your way home

4. Listlessness: You lose interest in hobbies or activities you used to enjoy; you do not enjoy spending time with the people you love

5. Trouble with short-term memory: You can’t recall what you had for lunch or a conversation you had a few minutes ago, even though you have vivid recollection of events from years ago

6. Mood swings: You become unusually depressed or excessively outgoing

7. Communication and confusion: It becomes harder to recognize people; you have a more difficult time putting in words your thoughts or feelings

About the Author:

Lorenzo Mejia and his wife, Mary Lynn Ryerson, are the owners of Acorn, a caregiver registry located in Chapel Hill.

They founded Acorn based on their experiences caring for his mom, who suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 2013, he became a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist.  In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Foundation named him the Dementia Care Professional of the Year in the United States.

Lorenzo is the founder of Dementia Friendly Orange County an effort to make local businesses more accommodating to people with dementia.

Lorenzo speaks often on dementia and the challenges associated with caring for loved ones.  He has been interviewed by ABC News and National Public Radio.  He is an advisor to Orange County’s OC-CARES Dementia Capable Community Project.

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Acorn provides screened and vetted in-home caregivers for clients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other similar conditions. Options include 24/7, live-in, weekly, weekend or hourly care. Acorn serves Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Pittsboro and surrounding areas in Orange, Chatham, Durham and Wake counties.