Dementia refers to the progressive loss of memory in a human being. It does not refer to any particular disease. It is rather a cumulative representation of symptoms which signify that the person is losing his or her memory. Dementia occurs in seven stages.
- In the first stage, there is no cognitive decline and the person is mentally sound. There is no memory loss as well.
- In the second stage, there is a very mild cognitive decline leading to normal forgetfulness that is often associated with progressing age.
- In the third stage, there is a mild cognitive decline. The person has an increased forgetfulness and may find it difficult to concentrate on things.
- In the fourth stage, there is moderate cognitive decline and the person starts forgetting even the most recent events. They cannot even travel alone or manage their own finances.
- In the fifth stage, there is a moderately severe cognitive decline. The person going through this stage often requires help even with their daily activities. People tend to forget even the most common things like phone and email passwords.
- In the sixth stage, there is a severe cognitive decline. This stage is also called middle dementia and there is prominent memory loss. People cannot even count from 1 to 10. Their speech becomes slurry. They also start having delusions.
- In the seventh stage, there is a very severe cognitive decline. This stage is also called late dementia. The psychomotor skills are also lost at this stage and the person may not even be able to walk properly.
Some of the early signs of dementia are listed below:
- In the initial days of dementia, the person usually tends to get confused when it comes to choosing the right words. This makes them take much longer time to conclude their speech.
- There might also be a change in the mood of the person.
Depression is also one of the early signs.
- The person will have a tendency to forget even the most recent events that took place in his or her life. This means that they might remember what happened ten years before but they might not remember what they did in the morning.
- Early signs also include failure to sense directions. People often tend to forget their addresses and the landmarks and thus become lost when they travel alone.
- Confusion is also one of the common signs and this is directly correlated to the loss of memory because when a person cannot remember familiar faces, it leads to a lot of confusion within his own mind.
So, if you suspect that someone in your house is suffering from dementia, then you must look out for these early signs and seek medical help immediately. Early treatment can keep the condition from worsening.