While this happens to all of us to some extent, when it happens regularly, it's more of a concern. Repeatedly having difficulty finding the right word to say, and increasingly, not remembering it later either. Heather and Brian are just one of many couples affected by dementia. Or you might be in a shopping centre and not know what direction to go in," Dr Farrow says. Being more readily talked into an unsuitable deal by a salesperson, or perhaps agreeing to an unsafe demand from a young grandchild in the person's care are signs judgement is not as good as it used to be.
Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys, but doing this often, including putting things in inappropriate places — sunglasses in the freezer, for instance — is more common in those with dementia. Some people start to have noticeable swings in their mood, going from calm to tears for no apparent reason.
For others there will be a shift to a different but more constant mood state — usually this is a more withdrawn and depressed state, although some people will become more happy-go-lucky than they used to be, Dr Farrow says. Getting lost from time to time is normal, but regular disorientation in otherwise familiar places could be a symptom. Someone may become very passive and not notice their house has become very untidy and dirty, for instance. Dr Farrow says they might also stop doing social activities or housework through lost confidence.
Scanning a list of early warning signs can help you work out if you need further assessment, Dr Farrow says. It may turn out you don't have dementia at all, but rather one of a range of other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, and which may be highly treatable. If you are showing early signs of dementia, Dr Farrow argues the earlier a diagnosis is made the better chance you will benefit from medications.
An early diagnosis may also allow you to have input into plans for your future, in a way that might not be possible if you wait until your mental decline is more advanced.
Tips for Dealing with Specific Dementia Problematic Behaviors
Understanding what's happening can also make the condition less troubling and potentially help you look after yourself better. If you want to learn more about dementia, and can allocate about three hours a week, you might like to take part in a free nine-week online course being run through the University of Tasmania. The course is designed to be accessible and appealing to people from diverse backgrounds including those with a general interest in dementia and people in early stages of the disease, their families and carers. So far more than 10, people have enrolled from all over the world.
There are no exams or assignments. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the standards ABC journalists and content makers follow. Learn more. Fitness Medicine Mental health Diet Programs. By Cathy Johnson. Difficulty with once familiar tasks can be a warning sign worth checking out. Getty: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc. How to cut your dementia risk.
Four Corners story pic teaser 'It's something in our life that we need to deal with'.
Pick’s Disease: Stages, Symptoms, and Caregiver Strategies
Health in your inbox Get the latest health news and information from across the ABC. Top health stories. Don't think that having dementia makes a person unable to do a task. See if she can safely do it first. If not, help her out. Create a cue for help. Establish a phrase or signal that your loved one can remember and use to let you know when she really wants your help. Set up regular check-ins to see if what you are doing to help is actually still helping. It's a good idea to discuss any new frustrations and how you can offer support.
Continued Legal Issues As soon as the person you're caring for is diagnosed with early-onset dementia, the two of you should meet with an attorney to create a Power of Attorney POA. An attorney can also help your loved one create a will and other important legal documents. Family The person you're caring for may have young children at home when diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Work The decline in memory and thinking skills that happens with dementia can have a big effect on a person's ability to work.
As a caregiver, you can do some things to help: Ask your loved one's employer if early retirement is an option. Determine if employee assistance programs are available and, if so, what they offer. Review the company's benefits to see if your loved one qualifies for paid time off or continued health insurance if she resigns. Specifically, you should ask about these benefits: Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA : Under this law, a person is allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year for medical and family reasons. There are different eligibility requirements.
Talk to your health insurer to see how long your loved one may be covered. Continued Finances Eventually, early-onset dementia symptoms force a person to stop working. Here are some steps to take: Talk to your loved one early about the family's financial needs and what can be done to meet them.
Manual Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia
Discuss ways to limit excess spending. Meet with a financial planner and accountant to find other sources of income and tax deductions. Contact any retirement plans to see if you can get the funds before age Some will let you, especially if there's a medical reason.
You also should check for government benefits.
Medicare : This federal health insurance program helps pay for some doctor's fees, medical items, outpatient prescription drugs, and all inpatient hospital care. It's for people over 65 who get Social Security retirement benefits. It also provides some short-term home health care in some cases. Take Care of Yourself Your help is really important to your loved one's quality of life.
- Dementia: 'If you did sit and cry people understand';
- Can dementia be prevented? - NHS;
- Resources for dementia caregivers;
- Absolute Surrender; Addresses Delivered in England and Scotland, 2nd Edition & The Deeper Christian Life: An Aid to its Attainment (Two Books With Active Table of Contents).
Here are some tips to relieve your stress : Be realistic. Accept that you can't do it all alone and that it's OK to ask for help or say yes when someone offers.
It's also fine to say no. Don't quit your job until your loved one has a definitive diagnosis and you've fully explored any employee benefits. This helps keep income flowing and relieves stress about lack of funds, at least temporarily. Talk to your boss about flex options, like telecommuting. Stay informed. Learn all you can about early-onset dementia and how it can affect your family's life. You'll be better prepared for future changes. Talk to others. Get support from family and close friends. Don't keep your feelings bottled up inside.
Sharing your emotions and journey can be helpful.
Alzheimer's study: Healthy lifestyle can cut your genetic risk of developing dementia - CBS News
Caregiver support groups are available and may be a safe place for you to discuss your feelings and unwind. Walk it off. Exercise is a great stress reliever.
Related Beating the Odds: Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia
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