Nearly two thirds of adult New Zealanders have some personal experience with dementia. So, chances are, it could even happen to Santa. This Christmas, remember to look out for the early warning signs in the ones you love.
You may notice subtle changes initially such as repeating the same story and asking the same question. Often their long-term memory will be good but not their short term one.
There may be a shift in their ability to perform familiar and everyday tasks such as cooking a meal, as well as difficulty multi-tasking.
They may struggle to find the right words or to communicate their thoughts and feelings. They may remove themselves from social situations to avoid making mistakes around others.
They may have difficulty knowing the time of day, where they are or where they need to be.
They may appear confused and not work well under pressure, with difficulty in decision-making, problem solving and judgment.
They may have difficulty keeping track of dates and times, or any new information, and rely on family and friends for memory aid.
They may misplace items regularly and forget where they’ve put things.
They may experience an increase in feelings of anxiety and low mood, making them appear ‘difficult’, suspicious and defensive to others.
They may have trouble understanding visual images (e.g. road signs) and spatial relationships (e.g. speed and distance), which can have major repercussions for their safety to drive.
For fear of others noticing changes in their ability to manage, they may lose interest in their work or hobbies and appear socially detached.
Confusion or forgetfulness may not mean someone has dementia but if you’re concerned about changes in someone it’s helpful to seek advice. You can make an appointment with your GP, or for more information and a range of support options, complete the simple form below and we will get in touch to help.
We’re by your side to help you, your family and whānau to live your best life.