10 Early Warning Signs Of Dementia

Hey there! Have you ever wondered about the early signs of dementia? Well, wonder no more! In this article, we’ll be exploring the top 10 warning signs that may indicate a dementia diagnosis.

It’s important to be aware of these signs as catching them early on can lead to better management and quality of life for those affected. So, buckle up and get ready to learn about these 10 early warning signs of dementia.

10 Early Warning Signs Of Dementia

Table of Contents

Memory loss

Forgetting recently learned information

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, and one of the early warning signs is forgetting recently learned information. You may find yourself struggling to remember things that you have just learned or events that have occurred in the recent past.

For example, you might forget the name of a new acquaintance or have difficulty recalling details from a conversation you had earlier in the day.

Difficulty in remembering important dates or events

Another sign of dementia-related memory loss is struggling to remember important dates or events. This could include forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, or significant holidays.

You might find yourself relying on reminders or family members to keep track of these dates, as they slip from your memory more easily than they used to.

Reliance on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own

As dementia progresses, you may start to rely more on memory aids or family members for tasks that you used to handle independently. This could include things like setting reminders on your phone, writing detailed to-do lists, or asking loved ones to help you remember appointments or important deadlines.

This increased reliance on external assistance is a clear indicator that your memory is starting to be affected by dementia.

10 Early Warning Signs Of Dementia

Difficulty completing familiar tasks

Struggling to follow a familiar recipe

If you find yourself having trouble following a recipe that you used to know by heart, it could be a sign of dementia. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks, such as cooking a favorite meal, can be a frustrating experience.

You might forget ingredient quantities, skip steps, or even get lost in the middle of the recipe.

Trouble driving to a familiar location

Another early warning sign of dementia is struggling to navigate to a familiar location. You may find yourself getting confused or disoriented while driving to places you have been countless times before.

This could result in taking wrong turns, getting lost, or feeling unsure about which route to take.

Forgetting rules of a favorite game or hobby

If you start to forget the rules of a favorite game or hobby that you have enjoyed for years, it could be a sign of cognitive decline. Difficulty in remembering familiar rules and strategies can be frustrating and disheartening.

You may find yourself making mistakes or not being able to fully participate in activities that used to bring you joy.

10 Early Warning Signs Of Dementia

Poor judgment

Making inappropriate or unusual decisions

One of the early signs of dementia is a decline in judgment and decision-making abilities. This can manifest as making poor or inappropriate choices in social, financial, or personal situations.

For example, you might dress inappropriately for the weather or neglect personal hygiene. It’s important to pay attention to any sudden changes in behavior or decision-making, as it could be a red flag for dementia.

Lack of grooming or hygiene

Neglecting personal grooming or hygiene is another warning sign that can indicate the presence of dementia. You may find that you no longer take regular showers, brush your teeth, or dress appropriately.

This decline in self-care is often a result of impaired judgment and the ability to prioritize basic daily tasks.

Falling for scams or frauds easily

Dementia can make individuals more susceptible to scams and frauds. If you find yourself falling for scams, giving out personal information to strangers, or making poor financial decisions, it could be a sign that your judgment is compromised.

It’s important to stay vigilant and seek help if you notice any concerning changes in your ability to make sound decisions.

Confusion with time and place

Getting lost in familiar surroundings

Confusion with time and place is a common symptom of dementia. You may find yourself getting lost in familiar surroundings, such as your own neighborhood or a familiar store.

This can be a distressing experience and may require assistance from others to find your way back home or to a familiar location.

Not knowing what day or time it is

Losing track of the day or time is another warning sign of dementia. You may find yourself frequently asking what day it is or forgetting appointments because you cannot accurately recall the time of day.

This can disrupt your daily routines and make it difficult to stay organized.

Disoriented about current location

Dementia can cause individuals to feel disoriented and confused about their current location. You may forget where you are or struggle to recognize familiar places.

This confusion can lead to feelings of anxiety and a heightened sense of vulnerability, as you may feel lost even in places that should be familiar and safe.

Changes in mood or personality

Becoming more anxious, suspicious, or fearful

Dementia can significantly impact an individual’s mood and personality. You may notice that you become more anxious, suspicious, or fearful compared to your usual self.

Small changes in your environment or routine may trigger heightened emotional responses, causing you to feel overwhelmed or distressed.

Showing signs of depression or withdrawal

Depression and withdrawal from social activities can be early indicators of dementia. You may lose interest in hobbies or activities that previously brought you joy, and you may prefer to spend more time alone.

Lack of engagement and withdrawal from social interactions can have a negative impact on your overall well-being.

Sudden mood swings or irritability

Unexplained mood swings or increased irritability can be warning signs of dementia. You might find yourself becoming agitated or frustrated more easily, even in situations that would not have bothered you in the past.

These sudden changes in mood can be alarming for both yourself and your loved ones.

Difficulty with language

Trouble finding the right words to express themselves

Struggling to find the right words to express yourself is a common early symptom of dementia. You may frequently pause or use general terms when trying to communicate, as specific words or names elude you.

This difficulty in finding and retrieving words can make conversations challenging and frustrating.

Repeating the same story or question

Repetitive speech, such as telling the same story or asking the same question multiple times, is another warning sign of dementia. You might not realize that you are repeating yourself, and it can be confusing or tiresome for those around you.

This repetition is often a result of memory deficits and difficulties with retaining new information.

Struggling to follow conversations

Dementia can make it harder to actively engage in conversations and follow along with complex discussions. You may find it challenging to understand the flow of conversation, respond appropriately, or remember what has been said.

This can lead to feelings of frustration and isolation as communication becomes more difficult.

Misplacing items

Putting things in unusual places and being unable to find them later

Misplacing items and being unable to locate them later is a common symptom of dementia. You may put everyday objects in unusual places, forgetting where you have placed them.

This can lead to frustration and a sense of disorganization as you spend time retracing your steps to find things you have inadvertently misplaced.

Accusing others of stealing their belongings

Dementia can lead to misplaced suspicions, causing you to accuse others of stealing your belongings. You may believe that others are intentionally moving or taking your things without evidence or logical reasoning.

These accusations strain relationships and can cause feelings of tension and mistrust.

Retracing steps frequently to locate misplaced items

If you find yourself frequently retracing your steps to locate misplaced items, it could be a sign of dementia. You may constantly backtrack, searching for things that seem to disappear from their usual places.

This repeated behavior can be frustrating and time-consuming, as you struggle to navigate the disorientation caused by memory loss.

Trouble with abstract thinking

Difficulty managing finances or balancing a checkbook

Trouble with abstract thinking can impact various aspects of daily life, including managing finances. You may find it increasingly challenging to balance a checkbook, understand financial statements, or make informed financial decisions.

This decline in cognitive abilities can have practical consequences and necessitate help from others to ensure financial stability.

Inability to understand jokes or sarcasm

An early sign of dementia-related cognitive decline is difficulty understanding jokes or sarcasm. You may struggle to grasp the intended humor or implied meaning in conversations. This inability to appreciate nuances in language can result in feelings of social awkwardness or isolation.

Struggling with tasks that involve planning or organization

Tasks that require planning or organization can become increasingly difficult as dementia progresses. You may find it hard to create and follow a schedule, manage multiple responsibilities, or complete complex projects.

This impairment can impact your ability to function independently and may require assistance to maintain a structured and organized lifestyle.

Difficulty with visual images and spatial relationships

Trouble judging distances or depth perception

Dementia can affect your ability to accurately judge distances or perceive depth. You may struggle to navigate steps, curbs, or doorways, which can increase the risk of falls or accidents.

Additionally, difficulties with judging distances accurately can affect activities such as parking a car or pouring liquid into a cup without spilling.

Difficulty with reading, judging colors, or recognizing faces

If you find yourself having trouble reading, judging colors, or recognizing faces, it could be a sign of visual and spatial difficulties associated with dementia.

Reading may become challenging due to difficulty in processing and comprehending text, and you may start having trouble distinguishing between colors or recognizing familiar faces, which can lead to social awkwardness and misunderstandings.

Disorientation to surroundings or objects

Dementia can cause disorientation to one’s surroundings or objects. You may find it challenging to navigate through familiar areas, even in your own home. Objects that were once easily identifiable may become confusing or unfamiliar, further contributing to feelings of disorientation and frustration.

Withdrawal from work or social activities

Losing interest in hobbies or activities they used to enjoy

A decrease in interest or enjoyment in activities that were once pleasurable can be an early indication of dementia. You may find yourself losing interest in hobbies, social gatherings, or other activities that used to bring you fulfillment.

This withdrawal can lead to a decreased quality of life and a sense of isolation.

Avoiding social gatherings or conversations

Dementia can lead to a desire to withdraw from social gatherings or conversations. You may feel overwhelmed by social interactions or find it harder to keep up with conversations.

This withdrawal can result in feelings of loneliness, as you may prefer to avoid situations where communication and social engagement are required.

Becoming more isolated and preferring to be alone

Becoming more isolated and preferring to spend time alone is another sign of dementia. You may feel more comfortable and secure in familiar surroundings and may choose to limit your social interactions.

However, it’s important to maintain social connections and seek support to prevent further isolation and negative impacts on your mental well-being.


Recognizing the early warning signs of dementia is crucial in seeking proper medical care and support.

If you or someone you know is experiencing memory loss, difficulty completing familiar tasks, poor judgment, confusion with time and place, changes in mood or personality, difficulty with language, misplacing items, trouble with abstract thinking, difficulty with visual images and spatial relationships, or withdrawal from work or social activities, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Early detection and intervention can improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia and their families, providing the opportunity to implement strategies and treatments that can help manage the condition effectively.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to support you through this journey.

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