How to know if a senior is hiding dementia symptoms
Recognizing the signs that could suggest your loved one or a senior in your care is hiding dementia symptoms can be difficult.
What you need to know about dementia, first and foremost, is that it is not specifically a disease. The term ‘dementia’ is used to describe a group of symptoms linked to memory decline or cognitive impairment. Alzheimer’s is however a disease and the most common type of dementia; accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. The second most common type is vascular dementia and its onset occurs after a stroke.
A senior suffering from dementia will experience varying symptoms such as:
- Memory loss
- Reasoning and judgment issues
- Inability to focus and pay attention
- Language and communication issues
At least two of the symptoms from the list above must be present for the senior to be diagnosed with dementia. Many of the symptoms noted can start out gradually and progressively get worse. Professional evaluation is paramount to verify diagnosis and detect if the dementia is treatable. Early diagnosis enables the senior to get the best from treatments available, while providing opportunities to participate in studies and even trials. Most importantly, an early diagnosis provides time to plan for the future and make important decisions about care.
Dementia Care Tips
Doing the research about a care plan for your loved one or senior during early diagnosis is key. Given the circumstances, it ensures that you are preparing the dementia suffer and managing expectations as best as possible. Please check out our blog, 5 Dementia Care Tips to learn the effective communication tools and practices to decide how to meet the needs of a senior or loved one with dementia.
If you believe your loved one is hiding or disguising any of these symptoms you can start with an open dialogue and observe their responses. If they are reticent or struggling with basic everyday tasks and you sense denial, there is a strong likelihood that they are hiding dementia symptoms. Try not to get frustrated with your loved one or the senior in your care. Instead, seek professional advice on the topic and conduct some research on dementia.
Sometimes what appears as denial is in fact agnosia, the total lack of awareness of memory loss or cognitive impairment, which affects many suffers of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have reached a point where you have consulted with the senior’s primary care physician and the recommendation is to take the next steps in addressing a care plan for your loved one, please reach out to Paradise Living Centers. We have three beautiful residences in the city of Phoenix; Paradise Valley, North Central Phoenix and Arcadia and our Care Manager, Kristie Chadwick is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP©) with years of experience in guiding families and caregivers who must make decisions about the care of their loved ones.
To set up an appointment or tour our homes, please call (480) 878-4112. We look forward to becoming your partners in care.