3 Common Challenges of Mild Dementia That Family Caregivers Often Don't Recognize

Changes in memory are usually the first sign of Alzheimer's disease, even before there's a diagnosis. Here are three other problem areas early in the disease that may surprise you.

1. Problems with visual-spatial skills: Over time, this makes anything relying on hand-eye coordination harder. Certain sports (such as handball), hobbies (such as knitting), and driving fall into this category.

2. Problems with judgment: Making decisions involves a complex array of higher-order thinking. When some of these thinking skills are impaired, the person may seem to make unusual choices or be a poor judge of safety or character. How it shows up: problems managing money, including susceptibility to scams; trusting the wrong people; making choices that seem out of character.

3. Problems with sequences: Both memory and other complex thinking skills are involved in following a sequence, which makes this skill that we take for granted increasingly troublesome. Your loved one may quit cooking from a cookbook (recipes are too hard to follow), have trouble with new gadgets (can't follow the step-by-step instructions), or be unable to give or follow directions.

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You


over 2 years ago, said...

It was indeed helpful. We have noticed these changes happening but could not talk about it with the concerned as they might feel offended. How to convey nicely without causing any embarrasment. I need some help on this issue.


almost 3 years ago, said...

is waking up at mdnight and getting fully dressed -anything to worry about? or just tell the person go back to bed it's midnight! the person is not aggravated or testy just mixed up about time at night.


about 4 years ago, said...

yes. I see these things slowly creeping in. My husband dismisses minor incidents but the pattern is concerning. It is confirming to read these descriptions of behavior that is puzzling.


over 4 years ago, said...

I am sooo guilty of making wrong choices that seem out of character lately. I also have trusted the wrong people and gotten myself into much financial difficulty, but hate to confront my own daughter as I felt she was helping me get out of debt. Instead...she's made me much FURTHER in debt and I'm ashamed of myself and have no one trustworthy to turn to.


over 4 years ago, said...

Yes becauseI can see these things slowly happening to me.


about 5 years ago, said...

Hi, Thank you very much for having this forum to learn and share about dementia. It has been like making a new friend. Since Mom lived over one thousand miles from me I did not have ongoing clues to her increasing disability. There were no other family members who got to see her on a regular basis. One friend of hers had expressed concern. We exchanged letters and phone calls regularly and she would visit. She had been in the hospital several times and did not notify me. Didn't want me to worry. Any "helpers" she would be assigned would get dismissed. Depression was showing up in conversation. Soon I learned of financial matters that were not being tended properly. It took over two years to convince her to move to be near me. So I could 'help' her with some of these things. I kept learning more by long distance. After the move took place I was constantly observing. It was worse than I had believed. Pieces of the puzzle were falling into place. Years of self-neglect. - - - I had to assume a more intense role. There is a lot of work to do, but I have friends to talk with now.


about 5 years ago, said...

Hello denmother, Thank you for your question. If you'd like, you can post your question in our Ask & Answer section, here: ( http://www.caring.com/ask ). Take care -- Emily | Community Manager


about 5 years ago, said...

Does anyone have a diary/log page that can be used daily to track meds, food & bev, activities, etc?


about 5 years ago, said...

I recognize all of these problems in Mom. Was confused by them at first as they might come and go. Now I know what is happening. Thank you.