Mom seems to be a bit perplexed nowadays. Yesterday evening, she inadvertently used salt instead of sugar in her well known chocolate chip cookie recipe. She called the dog by my brother’s name. And she misplaced her handbag, only to find it in the medicine cabinet. Is it possible she’s developing Alzheimer’s disease or another sort of dementia?
Though there are a variety of other possible factors behind dementia-like indicators such as these – medication side effects or depression, for example – these warnings help doctors evaluate if dementia may be the most likely culprit:
- Mental function loss – determined by talking with both the individual and people closest to her, used in combination with cognitive testing.
- Changes in formerly learned abilities –noting abilities that were successfully completed up until recently.
- Troubles with responsibilities of day to day life – evaluated through worries described by close family members.
- Some other physical conditions – examining underlying situations that may bring on delirium (which imitates dementia) such as bacterial infections, thyroid problems, electrolyte imbalances, and more.
- Mental history – a total review of mental problems that can come into play, which include depression or schizophrenia.
For helpful dementia care resources, visit our Resources page.
Should your older family member be identified as having dementia, speak to CareWorks Health Services. Our caring, knowledgeable dementia health care team is ready to help.