9 Commonly Missed Signs Of Dementia + What To Do If You Notice Them
Have you ever been stumped by a math equation, or even a riddle? You spend hours staring at the problem or mulling over the solution to no avail. Exhausted and frustrated, you throw your hands in the air and give in to a break. And after stepping outside for some fresh air and a walk around the block, or making and eating a home-cooked meal, you sit back down and solve your problem within minutes.
Sometimes, when you’re too involved in a situation, you have to take a massive step back—only then does the solution appear to you, clear as day. The first signs of dementia can operate in this manner; it’s often the people closest to a dementia patient (e.g., their partner, children, or best friend) that fail to catch the first signs of cognitive decline.
To be fair, cognitive impairment is sneaky; it settles into the brain slowly and steadily, until its obvious effects are undeniable. Unfortunately, dementia gains speed as it goes—like a snowball, and early intervention is critical in slowing down its procession.
Here are some often missed signs of dementia, so you can catch them as early as possible.
Oft-overlooked signs of dementia.
- Increased incoherence, confusion, or paranoia
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Trouble concentrating or following conversations
- Becoming overwhelmed quickly
- Expressing anger or lashing out
- Physical violence
- Personality or changes (e.g., sexual inappropriateness)
- Inability to do daily tasks
- Social withdrawal, apathy, and depression
What to do if you spot signs of cognitive decline.
If your loved one is experiencing multiple signs of dementia, your first step is booking an appointment with their doctor—early diagnosis can optimize a patient’s treatment plan and increase their life expectancy (not to mention enhance the quality of their life).
Whether your loved one receives a dementia diagnosis or not, protecting and nurturing the brain is critical for individuals of all ages. Here are some additional ways to support healthy cognitive function and enhance brain longevity:
- Take a high-quality memory supplement with science-backed ingredients (e.g., citicoline, a bioactive that has been shown to improve cognitive impairment in clinical trials)
- Pack your snacks and meals with brain-healthy foods
- Get plenty of deep, restful sleep
- Maintain healthy body composition, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels
- Stay physically and socially active
- Avoid smoking
Dementia is tough to spot, even when the signs are seemingly obvious. If you think your loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia on this list, be sure to schedule an appointment with their doctor to ensure they’re getting the best possible care.
Additionally, incorporating daily brain-supporting habits can nurture a healthy and happy life, no matter an individual’s cognitive health status.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.