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Early Signs of Dementia

two adult children smile at a smiling senior

While a person who is getting on in years will often forget things and may seem to have a hard time handling seemingly easy tasks, it is important to be aware that in some cases an elderly individual’s problems stem not from old age but from dementia. Residents who live near an elderly parent or close relative should be on the lookout for these signs to determine in the individual in questions needs professional dementia care. Following is an overview of some of the most common early signs of dementia.

Monetary Issues

Unpaid bills piling up are a warning sign that someone is losing the ability to properly care for him or herself. It is not uncommon for a person with dementia to lose the ability to handle money well. Such individuals may make purchases based on desires rather than sound financial planning while leaving important bills unpaid.

Personal Care Problems

Another early sign of dementia is the lack of ability to care for oneself properly. Unkempt hair, a dirty home and/or wearing dirty clothes are all warning signs. This is especially true for those who regularly take the time to dress neatly and properly groom themselves.

Eating and Health Issues

Many people in the early (and late) stages of dementia are unable to properly prepare food. An individual who notices that an elderly loved one is rapidly losing weight and seems to lack energy should take this loved one to a doctor to be examined for dementia.


Many people with dementia are apathetic. They may not want to spend time with friends or relatives, refuse to go out to different places or even lose the desire to engage in hobbies they previously enjoyed.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are yet another common symptom of dementia. Given the fact that many people with this condition feel confused, have a hard time communicating and cannot care for themselves properly, it is not surprising that individuals with dementia often experience depression.

Getting help for a person with dementia as soon as possible is very important. The above warning signs should be taken seriously and a person who notices these symptoms in him or herself or an elderly loved one should see a doctor at the earliest possible opportunity. Proper treatment can reduce symptoms and help a person live a happy, fulfilling life for as long as possible. For more information on how to get help, call HealthStar Home Health at 651.633.7300