When tasked with caring for an aging loved one, you may find yourself constantly watching for warning signs of debilitating illnesses or diseases. Long-term care planning should never be the last thing to consider, even if you made the commitment to take care of your loved one up until the end.
Individuals with cognitive impairment require special attention and protection, and there may come a day when you are not able to provide the necessary level of care to keep a loved one safe and enjoying the best quality of life. It is important to recognize when decline starts to occur and take proactive steps to make the transition to this phase of life easier.
Early warning signs
Recognizing these warning signs can help you get an early diagnosis of dementia. These signs may come at different times, and not everyone experiences them all.
- Memory loss affecting day-to-day responsibilities
- Struggles performing familiar tasks
- Problems articulating thoughts or forgetting words
- Increased disorientation to time or place
- Impaired reasoning and judgment
- Misplacing items
- Difficulty with abstract thinking
- Personality changes
- Changes in behaviors and moods
- Lost interest in social activities, hobbies or family
Early action steps
If someone you love seems affected by any of these signs, encourage them to seek the help of a physician. Offer assistance and lend support as you both navigate the journey ahead.
Dealing with cognitive decline is more manageable when prepared for the event. Familiarize yourself with the early warning signs and the care options available when the disease progresses beyond your control.