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When reconnecting with family during the holidays, you will likely notice how much your loved ones have changed since you last saw them. During gatherings with older relatives, pay close attention to these changes, as some may be indicative of more than just the standard aging process. Many common symptoms of “aging” are actually warning signs of dementia.
During family visits this holiday season, keep an eye out for potential signs of dementia. If you notice these changes in an older relative, it may be time to consider a senior living community so your loved one can receive the care and support they need.
At My Living Choice, we are dedicated to helping seniors find a community that best meets their needs. If you or your family are facing a new dementia diagnosis, we are here to help you find senior living in Apple Valley that includes memory care services, an exceptional care team, and convenient and comfortable amenities.
One of the most common early signs of dementia is memory loss. You may notice that your loved one frequently forgets important details or events. It's normal for people to forget things occasionally and remember them later, but persistent and unexplained memory lapses could be a cause for concern.
Similar symptoms may include asking the same question repeatedly, increasingly needing memory aids such as reminder notes, or relying on others to remember things they typically handle on their own.
Dementia can make even routine tasks challenging for those living with the condition. Watch for signs such as difficulty dressing, preparing meals, or maintaining personal hygiene.
While gathering for the holidays, keep an eye out especially for challenges with tasks such as organizing a grocery list, following a cherished recipe, or remembering the rules of a favorite game. If your loved one starts struggling with any of these tasks, it may be an indicator of cognitive decline.
People with dementia often become confused or disoriented, even in familiar surroundings. If you notice your loved one frequently getting lost or disoriented in their own home or neighborhood, it's time to seek professional advice.
They also may lose tracks of dates, seasons, or passages of time. Occasionally forgetting the date can be normal, but if they are disoriented and forgetting where they are or how they got there, this could indicate a more serious concern.
Dementia can cause significant changes in a person's personality and mood. Your loved one may become irritable, anxious, or even exhibit uncharacteristic behavior. These changes can be distressing for both the individual and their family.
Vision changes related to cataracts are a common symptom of aging for many older adults. If your loved one begins to struggle with understanding visual images and spatial relationships, this could be a sign of dementia.
If these kinds of vision changes occur, it’s important to address your concerns as soon as possible as they can lead to trouble with reading, balancing, and driving.
As dementia progresses, those living with it may have difficulty finding the right words, following conversations, or expressing themselves clearly. Occasionally lapsing in conversation isn’t uncommon, but repeatedly losing a train of thought or repeating themselves can be a sign of dementia.
Struggles with communication can lead to frustration and withdrawal from social interactions. It’s important to be patient, actively listen, and remain empathetic when communicating with someone living with dementia. Nonverbal communications such as emotions and body language can be clearly understood, so be mindful of how you engage with your loved one.
Occasionally misplacing something is normal, especially if your loved one is able to retrace their steps to find it. However, frequently putting items in unusual places or losing them altogether may be a sign of a bigger problem.
Not being able to retrace steps can progress from disorientation and forgetfulness to outright accusing others of stealing in a state of confusion.
Impaired judgment is another warning sign of dementia. You may notice your loved one making risky decisions or displaying poor judgment in financial matters. These lapses can have serious consequences.
One benefit of senior living in Apple Valley are the memory care communities with teams of experts dedicated to helping seniors navigate the changes of dementia, protecting them from potential harm.
As dementia progresses and communication skills diminish, those living with the disease may begin to withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves from friends and family. This can be particularly noticeable during holiday gatherings when they used to enjoy socializing.
Keeping your loved one involved in plans, regardless of their abilities or challenges, shows them they are still valued, respected, and loved. Be sure to include them in conversation, verbally or nonverbally, rather than talk about them as if they are not there. This can help boost feelings of confidence and belonging and combat the urge to isolate.
As a trusted resource for finding quality senior living, we at My Living Choice want to emphasize the importance of recognizing these warning signs of dementia in your loved ones, especially during the holiday season.
Early detection allows for timely intervention and access to appropriate senior living communities equipped to provide specialized care for those living with dementia. By being vigilant and supportive, you can ensure that your loved ones receive the care and attention they deserve during this festive season and beyond.
If you are looking for senior living in Apple Valley with dementia care and support services, we are here to help. Start your search today.
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