1 in 7 persons aged 70 and over in the United States suffers from dementia, with Alzheimer’s Disease being the most prevalent form. “Even though memory loss is a lot more common as you age, it isn’t an inevitable part of aging,” Dr. Gad Marshall adds. “Memory loss or mental lapses that occur suddenly or gradually could be symptoms of more serious diseases.” Here are five dementia symptoms to be on the lookout for.
1 — Paying Your Bills
Doctors say an unexplained money problem might be a symptom of dementia. “If you used to balance your checking accounts to the penny and can’t remember where your family funds are going anymore,” says Sevil Yasar, M.D., Ph.D. “Similarly, if you feel overwhelmed and lost while making Christmas pumpkin pie with your most loved long-standing recipe, it could be an indication of early cognitive impairment.”
2 — Getting Lost In Familiar Places
Being lost in familiar environments and becoming perplexed and disoriented might be early indicators of brain deterioration. Dr. Yasar explains, “Being lost or completely forgetting where you are while driving or walking for a long time without realizing it, as well as not asking for assistance in these circumstances, could be an indication of dementia.”
3 — What Season Is It?
Seasonal amnesia, according to doctors, should not be dismissed. “Losing track of what season it is (or how to dress for that season), for example, or forgetting where you’re at (or how you got there) are red flags that you should talk to your physician about because they’re more typical with Alzheimer’s disease,” said geriatrician Ronan Factora, MD.
4 — Trouble Walking
According to new research, forgetting how to walk might be an indication of dementia. “They walked slower and with shorter steps, were more asymmetric and variable, and spent longer with both of their feet on the ground than control subjects,” said Ríona McArdle. “This indicates that people with dementia have major walking difficulties, so we should evaluate this in those at risk of developing dementia to see whether it can help us predict the onset of the disease.”
5 — Short-Term Memory Loss
According to experts, the most prevalent symptom of dementia is memory loss of recent events. “One of the most common indicators of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss, especially when it comes to recently learned information,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2021 Facts and Figures report. “Forgetting significant dates or occurrences, asking the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to depend on memory aids (for example, electronic devices or reminder notes) or family members for things that used to be done alone) are other symptoms.”