If some of the following signs become evident, should dementia be suspected?

Specific symptoms for early detection of “dementia,” prepared by family (prepared by ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION JAPAN)

This is a summary of behaviors indicative of the beginning of dementia, seen in everyday life, based on the experience of members of the ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION JAPAN. Although these are not to be used as medical diagnostic criteria, you may refer to them for guidance.
If one or more of the following signs apply to you, it may be better to consult a specialist. If no abnormality is detected, you can have peace of mind. If any other disease is found, necessary measures will be taken to ensure that you receive the care you need.
As with any disease, early detection of dementia and prompt adoption of appropriate measures can dramatically change the subsequent lifestyle of not only the person himself/herself, but also of his/her family. We hope that you will find the accounts of the members of the “ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION JAPAN” of their experiences helpful to you.

Horrible forgetfulness

  • Forgetting the name of the person that you (use of second person, hereinafter, for convenience) were talking to over the phone, right after hanging up the phone
  • Saying, asking and doing the same thing over and over again
  • Always looking for something due to the increased frequency of losing or misplacing things
  • Accusing people of stealing your wallet, bank passbook, clothing, etc.

Impaired abilities of judgment and understanding

  • More frequent mistakes in cooking, cleaning, calculating, driving, etc.
  • Inability to learn new information
  • Telling stories that rarely make sense
  • Unable to understand the contents of TV programs

Unable to recognize place and time

  • Missed appointment date and time
  • Sometimes getting lost even on familiar streets

Personality changes

  • Becoming easily irritable over minor matters
  • Becoming disrespectful to people around and stubborn
  • Blaming others for one’s own failure
  • People around saying, “You are not like your usual self these days.”

Severe anxiety

  • Being frightened or feeling lonely when alone
  • Checking what to take with you again and again, when going out
  • Complaining, saying “I'm crazy.”

Losing motivation

  • No longer caring for grooming, not changing underwear
  • Losing interest in hobbies or favorite TV programs
  • Feeling down and blue, not being bothered about anything, and hating to do anything

Attention should be paid to symptoms that are easily mistaken for dementia.

Similar symptoms to simple forgetfulness can occur as a result of medications taken for the treatment of depressive states, such as feeling down, impaired consciousness (delirium) and other diseases. It is very important to distinguish these symptoms from dementia.

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