How to care for someone with early dementia

Dementia is a condition that most commonly affects the elderly in Australia, but it can also affect younger people as well. In some cases, people in their 30s have been diagnosed with dementia, but this is quite rare. The average age of early-onset dementia is below the age of 65 – between 55 and 64. More commonly, though, dementia is found in people above the age of 65. 

Regardless of the person’s age, the question remains: How do you care for someone at the stage of early dementia? Is it something you can handle yourself, or is professional assistance required? 

In this post, you’ll gain a better understanding of what dementia is, how to care for someone with dementia, and why it’s in the best interests of everyone involved to seek professional assistance. 

How To Spot Early Signs Of Dementia 

Before a person with early-onset dementia can be cared for, it’s vital that those around them see the warning signals. So, what are the signs of early stage dementia

Memory loss is one of the more common signs that dementia might be apparent. Just because someone occasionally forgets something, that doesn’t mean they may have dementia. That can happen to all of us. If the occurrences of memory loss are consistent, or out of character with the person in question, then this could be an indicator of dementia. 

Also, if you notice things like changes in regular behaviour or routine, this too can be a signal that a person may be in the early stages of dementia. 

Symptoms Of Dementia Early Stages 

Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms of the early stages of dementia to gain a better understanding of what to look out for in terms of symptoms.

Memory loss and routine and behavioural changes were mentioned above, but other symptoms of dementia include moments of confusion, unusual repetitive behaviour, struggling to perform tasks that are familiar, and lacking the ability to make sound judgements or think clearly. 

Another common signal that dementia could be an issue is if the person starts to withdraw from friends and family members. Quite often, with the onset of dementia, the person begins to self-isolate. 

Early Stages Of Dementia Test 

If you suspect that a loved one or someone you know might have dementia, it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis as soon as possible. 

Making an appointment with a doctor is the first step. A GP will do a preliminary examination of the person and then refer them for other tests, which can include: 

  • A physical and neurological examination 
  • A psychiatric assessment 
  • A neuropsychological assessment 
  • Brain imaging and pathology tests 

There’s no point trying to diagnose whether someone is suffering from dementia yourself. All you can do is watch for the signs and then seek professional help. 

Caring For a Person With Dementia 

While you might want to be involved in the care of a loved one who is living with early-onset dementia, you will likely need some professional help. That’s where dementia care services can be a lifesaver. Remember, there is no cure for dementia, although care and treatment will help a person who has dementia live a more comfortable and stable life. 

With the assistance of professional care, the person living with dementia will be helped on a number of important levels. 

As the disease of dementia steadily progresses, simple daily tasks such as eating and drinking, taking care of household chores, looking after pets, personal hygiene, paying the bills, doing the shopping and so on will become harder and harder for the person afflicted with dementia. They’ll need assistance with all of these everyday tasks and more. 

While a family member, friend or loved one can help care for a person with dementia, having the social and emotional support of a professional service will infinitely make the task easier.

A professional care service like Vital Home Health Services can administer regular medications where required, along with everything else involved as Vital Home Health Services can provide the right skill and care to our clients living with dementia. 

Vital Home Health Services 

If someone you care about has been diagnosed with early dementia and you need help, give us a call and discuss your situation with us. You’ll discover how our professional services can make life so much easier for you and the person living with dementia.