Signs of dementia

The first person to notice the symptoms of dementia will be the person with it.

Hopefully if they’ve read this guide one or more of the symptoms we outline below will prompt them into action. shutterstock_149335580 old couple drinking teaEqually if you are living with someone and are concerned about their behaviour, one or more of the symptoms we list may be the prompt you need to take matters further.

We set out below some symptoms of dementia and follow them with what is normally just a symptom of old age.


Memory loss,
This is a common sign of dementia. Short term memory can be lost with the result that you don’t remember recent events or conversations and ask the same questions repeatedly

Old age
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

Problems completing daily tasks
You may have difficulty in completing daily tasks. This can include driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering how to play a favourite game.

Old age
Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

Changes in mood and personality
You may become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. This can result in you being easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where you are out of your comfort zone.

Old age
Being fixed in your ways and unwilling to change

Becoming confused over time and place
You may not be able to remember dates , seasons and time of year. You may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes you may forget where you are or how you got there.

Old age
Mixing up days of week but figuring them out later.

Having a problems with your vision
You may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining colour or contrast, which can cause problems in the home and when going out.

Old age
Vision problems related to cataracts or other eye problems.

Problems in holding a conversation
You may have trouble following or joining a conversation. You might stop speaking in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue. You may repeat yourself. Using the right vocabulary, can become difficult with the result you call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

Old age
Sometimes having trouble finding the right words.

Losing things
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places e.g. car keys in the fridge. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. This can result in accusations of theft. This may occur more frequently over time.

Old age
Not being able to find your car keys without a major hunt.

Becoming withdrawn and no longer socialisingshutterstock_100419445 boat on lake
One or more of the above problems can cause a person to become embarrassed about social interaction. They begin to fear they can no longer properly take part They may find their coordination has gone or they can’t remember the rules of their favourite sport

Old age
Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations