Dementia is a slowly progressing disease. It can be a decade from the first shown symptoms until its progression. The person can live with dementia from 15-20 years. Before the first known signs of dementia, the disease can be completely untrackable. All the functions appear intacked. The first signs can be shown as the difficulty of doing everyday chores back home or at work. The person can become confused, disoriented, has problems with unknown tasks. The first alarming sign can also be seen in a change of behavior, such as social isolation or a bad emotional regulation. These are the two symptoms that are harder to distinguish than depression. Later on symptoms can be seen with disfunctions in episodic memory, speech fluency and executive functions.
Common problems and disfunctions on several areas:
- Excessive forgetfulness, that can affect daily activities: the person has problems saving new memories, misplaces objects, buys the same things, asks the same questions, forgets names, cannot remember meetings and agreements. There are problems with everyday chores (cooking becomes a problem, the chores are not finished or they are done poorly.). Misplacing objects becomes a problem.
- Problems with orientation: the person is disoriented, doesn’t know which day it is or which part of the day it is. The person doesn’t recognize home environment, gets lost in a familiar setting.
- Problems with visual perception, speech impairment and writing problems: problems with reading, visual perception (colours, depth), cannot find the right words, later on the problems get more severe; adding senseless words, bizarre words.
- Avoiding all social activity and spending time alone: the person is avoiding all social contact, doesn’t want to do things that once made him/her happy, dropping all hobbies.
- Emotional and behavior changes: mood swings, the person becomes more sensible, experiences anxiety, confused, less trusting, sometimes even aggressive, offensive.
- Lack of good judgement and decision making: senseless spending money, buying things he/she doesn’t need.
- Neglecting personal hygiene and appearance
- Problems with logic reasoning: losing the ability to solve problems, understanding concepts, plans and control the behavior.