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Six dementia warning signs

Early signs of dementia can be very subtle and are sometimes hard to pick up on. Here are six indicators of dementia to look out for.

Increased forgetfulness

We’ve all forgotten where we’ve placed our keys before but people with dementia forget things more often, to the point that it starts to affect their everyday functioning. They may also misplace items as a result of leaving them in inappropriate places.

Simple tasks become a challenge

People with dementia have difficulty performing tasks that were once familiar to them. They may forget some of the steps involved. Previously simple concepts like basic maths equations when figuring out how much money to give a cashier at a shop can become difficult for a person with dementia.

Confusion and disorientation

We’ve all asked a friend or relative what day it is, but then it usually all makes sense when they tell you it’s Monday. For a person with dementia, that sense of confusion around time is heightened. They may also get disoriented and not be aware of where they are, even if it’s a place they’ve visited before.

Change in behaviour and overall personality

Mood swings, suspicion and withdrawal can all be signs of dementia. The condition may cause a person to lose interest in activities they usually enjoy, which may lead them to become withdrawn.

Language issues

Dementia often causes a person to forget basic words or use the wrong words in sentences.

Difficulty with distance or direction

Judging distance or direction can become more difficult for a person with dementia, so things like driving a car can be affected.


*It is important to keep in mind that many of the symptoms of dementia are similar to those of several other conditions.

Only a trained professional can diagnose dementia. The best place to start is by a visit to a GP who can consider a person’s symptoms and possibly order screening tests and/or refer a patient to a specialist.


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