Three Early Signs of Dementia

As more research is conducted on the brain, we learn that subjective cognitive complaints can be the earliest indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

However, recognizing the difference between general age related memory issues and dementia can be difficult. You can catch it early by looking for these warning signs, enabling you to better help your aging parent or loved one.

Significant Memory Changes

While this is the most recognized symptom of Alzheimer’s, it is also a difficult one to read. This is because normal aging will bring someone to forget more easily.  The key is to understand when it is a problem.  If your parent or loved one is forgetting names of doctors, or where the car keys were last seen, those can be signs of normal aging.  If important events, dates and appointments are forgotten, or the information must be repeated consistently, then that counts as a warning sign.


A more unusual sign, some pre-dementia sufferers will begin to hoard, either out of confusion or because of a magnified version of a personality trait that they already possessed. If you know that your father is a collector, of say, sports memorabilia and coins, then you expect to see those things around the home.  If you notice that he is not only collecting those things, but is keeping all mail and all possessions piled up and in disarray, you can recognize that’s something’s not right.  Often, those showing early signs of dementia will grow scared or embarrassed, and keep items around in order to hold on to memories.

Personality & Mood Changes

If your loved one is showing signs of confusion, depression, anxiousness or is suspicious overall, keep a closer eye on his or her relationships.  It’s normal for someone who is used to a routine to become irritable when that routine is disrupted.  If your senior is pulling away from usual social activities and becoming weary of work or company, then early signs of dementia may be present.

If you are noticing dementia-related symptoms in your loved one, or if you are simply interested in learning more, please contact us at Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC, and let us help to answer your questions.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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