If you’ve had some problems remembering things that happened recently, or have found yourself getting confused in familiar places, you may be worried these are signs of dementia.
Common difficulties include:
- Struggling to remember things that happened recently, even though you can easily remember things from longer ago.
- Struggling to follow conversations, particularly in groups.
- Forgetting the names of people or things.
- Struggling to follow a story on television or in a book, or understand magazine and newspaper articles.
- Having trouble remembering the day or date.
- Having trouble remembering where you put something, or where things are kept.
- Repeating yourself or losing the thread of what you are saying.
- Finding your thinking is fuzzy.
- Struggling to do things you used to find easy.
- Feeling confused even in a familiar place.
- Having problems controlling your mood, or controlling your emotions.
As we get older, most of us experience these things from time to time. And being forgetful or getting confused doesn’t necessarily mean you have dementia. Dementia-like symptoms can be caused by depression, vitamin deficiencies, stress, thyroid problems or urinary tract infections.
But if you’re worried, it’s always best to talk to your doctor to discover what’s causing it.
Your doctor should:
- discuss your concerns and symptoms
- ask questions to test your thinking and memory
- carry out a full health check to see whether your symptoms could be due to other causes
- if necessary, refer you to a specialist or a memory clinic for a fuller assessment.
Getting a diagnosis of early-stage dementia won’t make things worse, but it can help you make changes to live as well as possible and make plans for the future.