Dementia is a disease characterised by the impairment and decline of memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills, adversely impacting a person's life. While it's commonly associated with older people, dementia can also affect younger people.
If you're worried that a loved one or someone you know has dementia, you should encourage them to see a doctor. Before you make the suggestion, however, you should give it some serious thought. It would be best if you first try to pick up some signs that they're indeed experiencing the early symptoms of dementia.
Be aware of the signs of dementia
Forgetfulness is not the only indication that someone may have dementia. Everyone experiences it, and it's not something to be seen as abnormal. A person usually needs to show at least two types of impairment that interfere with their everyday activities.
Here are some signs that you should be on the lookout for:
- memory loss that affects day-to-day function
- difficulty performing everyday tasks
- taking longer to do routine tasks
- changes in personality, mood, and behaviour
- periods of mental confusion
- difficulty with tasks that require concentration and planning
- increased emotional unpredictability
- difficulty in following instructions
- losing enthusiasm or interest in regular activities
- being vague in everyday conversations
Consult with family and friends
If you think that your loved one has dementia, check in with others who are also close to them to confirm your suspicions. Be sure to do it in a respectful manner to avoid hurt or embarrassment. Remember that your main objective is verifying if others have made similar observations and not spread rumours or gossip that may hurt the person in question.
Encourage your loved one to see a doctor
If you've noticed that your loved one is showing symptoms of dementia, the next step is to encourage them to see a physician for a proper assessment. Talking to them about the changes you've observed may be difficult, so it's crucial to create a safe space where both of you are comfortable and can speak your thoughts freely.
You may start by talking about the things you've noticed, like instances where they had trouble with their memory. You may ask them if it's due to stress or sleep deprivation. You can then squeeze in that it may be time to consult a doctor just to see what's happening.
If you're not particularly close to the person, you may direct it to someone who knows them well. Tell that person your observations and find out if they've noticed the same things. They may be more willing to see a doctor once you've spoken to them about their symptoms, especially if they themselves have noticed the changes as well.
You also have to be prepared to receive a negative reaction. Some may be hesitant to see a doctor because they are worried and scared, which is a natural reaction. If the person does have dementia, their condition deters them from recognising the changes in themselves, resulting in their refusal to consult with a physician. Should they remain hesitant, you can find a different reason to encourage them to see a doctor, like a routine physical checkup.
The best thing you can do for your loved one who has dementia is to offer your support and assistance. You can help them book their appointment and even accompany them. You can also aid them in their everyday routine, like reminding them to take their medication and completing essential tasks.
When they need to take medications, automatic dispensers and alarms can help them. Visit TabTime today and browse through our range of products. Contact us to learn more!