How to Tell when an Elderly Loved One Is Developing Dementia

By 9  am on


Even though there’s no cure for dementia, older adults who are diagnosed with this disorder in its earliest stages can often delay some of the worst symptoms. With comprehensive treatment plans, seniors might be able to minimize symptoms such as severe memory loss, aggressive behavior, and general confusion. Here’s a closer look at some of the early warning signs of dementia seniors and their loved ones shouldn’t ignore.

Difficulty Forming Sentences

Speech issues are common in the earliest stages of dementia. Some older adults who have this condition find it difficult to remember certain words. They might begin to stutter in the middle of sentences as well. These issues aren’t always caused by dementia, but it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor when it comes to a senior’s mental health.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Richmond families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care Richmond to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

General Apathy

Researchers now know dementia can result in many secondary emotional health issues, including apathy and depression. Family members should keep a close eye on their aging loved one if he or she seems to have lost interest in favorite hobbies and activities. Even if the apathy is caused by depression, the senior still needs to speak with a specialist to work through those feelings. There are also many medications available to those who can no longer produce and regulate “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.


Repetition is a natural symptom of age-related cognitive decline, but you should be wary of any sudden changes in your loved one’s habits. Seniors with dementia often repeat certain chores or actions, such as folding their clothes or washing the dishes. They might also repeat the same stories or ask identical questions dozens of times. If repetition is becoming a daily issue, contact your loved one’s doctor and schedule a cognitive test.

Difficulty with Directions

Different types of dementia impact the area of the brain responsible for the sense of direction. Seniors with dementia often wander and get lost in familiar environments. Wandering is another symptom of dementia that should never be taken lightly, and you may need to hire a professional caregiver to prevent your loved one from engaging in this behavior. 

Dementia is a serious mental health condition that can impact overall quality of life. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Personality Changes

Most mental health experts believe personalities change about once every seven years, but those changes tend to be very gradual. Sudden personality changes are typically caused by acute brain damage or disorders like dementia. Seniors who are developing dementia might suddenly become aggressive, violent, or distrustful. Caregivers who notice these changes must speak with a specialist. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging for family members. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care Henrico families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today.

Request a free Consultation