How to Recognize Dementia in Seniors

Let’s look at multiple warning signs that your older loved one may be developing some level of cognitive impairment.
How to Recognize Dementia in Seniors

If you are concerned about a loved one and the possibility of dementia, you are certainly not alone. It is estimated that well over 7 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65 are living with some form of the disease. Understanding the onset of dementia can sometimes be difficult for family members to navigate. Let’s look at multiple warning signs that your older loved one may be developing some level of cognitive impairment.

Memory Loss

Everyone forgets from time to time, but if you notice that your parent or senior loved one is unable to recall things that are a part of their daily life, it could be a sign of dementia.

A senior’s pattern of forgetting a person’s name, repeating themselves multiple times, or failing to remember appointments are events that should be addressed with a doctor right away.


Difficulty Doing Routine Tasks

People who have dementia often have difficulty performing daily tasks, even those that they have done every day for decades. Look for changes in your loved one’s routines such as eating, bathing, or other activities.

If you see that their daily habits are no longer being followed, have a gentle conversation about it. There could be logical reasons for a change in behavior, but it might also be a sign of a developing cognitive impairment.


People who have dementia can become easily confused about where they are, or how to return home from a trip to the grocery store. In addition, some seniors with cognitive issues might believe that they are currently living in a time from the past.

Should you experience these symptoms with your loved one, be sure to document when and where it occurred. This information will be very helpful to medical professionals in their attempt to diagnose a possible issue.

Language Problems

Everyone experiences from time to time the inability to recall a word during a conversation. However, a person with dementia will tend to forget simple words, lose track of the natural progression of a discussion, or use the wrong word when describing something. Should this occur with your loved one, speak to a doctor to determine next steps.

Rapid Mood Changes

One of the more common symptoms of dementia is a rapid change in mood or personality. Look for patterns of mood swings in your loved one or sudden bouts of anxiety, anger, depression or apathy. Speak with your loved one about what they are feeling, and ask what you can do to help.

If there appears to be no logical explanation for a severe mood swing in a senior, it could be a sign of developing dementia.

Frontier Senior Living is Here to Help

Evaluating whether a senior has dementia or could be developing a cognitive impairment can be confusing and frankly, scary. The caring and highly knowledgeable staff at Frontier has helped many families find the right care for their loved ones in a welcoming and safe setting. 

Have questions about senior living? Our friendly and compassionate team members are here to help. Find a community near you to get started.

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