Early indicators of dementia: 5 behaviour changes to look for after age 50

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There are five primary behaviours we can look for in friends and family who are over the age of 50 that might warrant further attention. Photo: Pexels


(Daniella Vellone/ The Conversation) — Dementia is often thought of as a memory problem, like when an elderly person asks the same questions or misplaces things. In reality, individuals with dementia will not only experience issues in other areas of cognition like learning, thinking, comprehension and judgement, but they may also experience changes in behaviour.

It’s important to understand what dementia is and how it manifests. I didn’t imagine my grandmother’s strange behaviours were an early warning sign of a far more serious condition.

She would become easily agitated if she wasn’t successful at completing tasks such as cooking or baking. She would claim to see a woman around the house even though no woman was really there. She also became distrustful of others and hid things in odd places.

These behaviours persisted for some time before she eventually received a dementia diagnosis.

When cognitive and behavioural changes interfere with an individual’s functional independence, that person is considered to have dementia. However, when cognitive and behavioural changes don’t interfere with an individual’s independence, yet still negatively affect relationships and workplace performance, they are referred to as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild behavioural impairment (MBI), respectively. (…)

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