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Do You Have Early-Stage Dementia?

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Do You Have Early-Stage Dementia?

By Carol Bradley Bursack,

With Alzheimer’s so much in the news, it’s natural to ask yourself sometimes whether you could be on the brink of the disease or some other dementia. This worry is compounded in people who have early onset Alzheimer’s in their families. After all, who hasn’t forgotten keys, messed up a checkbook or even neglected to pay a bill?

Don’t panic. Stress can be a huge culprit when it comes to memory problems, as can medications, infections and sleep deprivation. So it’s important to take a realistic look at your situation.

Check for changes in behavior

If you always mess up when you balance your checkbook, you probably shouldn’t be too concerned if you do it again. However, if you are an accountant and the numbers no longer make sense, then it’s time to consider a checkup.

What Should a Caregiver with Dementia Do?

The same thing goes for activities like cooking. If you are a casual cook but your meals aren’t as tasty as usual, it’s probably just because you are rushing and not paying attention. Maybe you’re tired or distracted by your care receiver’s health. But if cooking is your major form of relaxation, and you find creative joy in making meals, yet are habitually messing them up, you may want to question why.

Getting lost driving home from a familiar place? Not good. But if you just flake out and make a wrong turn because you are preoccupied, it’s probably okay. However, if you are driving home from a familiar store and can’t remember how to get from point A to point B, it’s probably time to see a doctor.

If you do have symptoms that bother you, see a doctor, for your care receiver’s sake as well as your own. If your mother has Alzheimer’s, you can’t properly care for her if you can’t keep her medications straight.

Read more:
When a Senior Can’t Remember the Story, Let Them Make It Up
A Kids-Eye View of Alzheimer’s
“My Mom Has Dementia and Is Telling Lies About Me”

How to Tell If You Have Early-Stage Dementia originally appeared on

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8:58PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

thank you

11:56AM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

I think those of us with a parent with this are more afraid of getting it too. I know I am.

2:33AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Thanks for the article.

12:05PM PST on Dec 25, 2011


5:32AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

@Fiona - Early stage dementia, which my mother had, is a very devastating disease and not something to be joked about. If you suspect your husband has it, I suggest you get him to a doctor for evaluation ASAP. Of course, many other things can cause the symptoms you describe, such as: Bi-polar, depression, drug use, other things on his mind, etc. I certainly would not trust him to pick up the children until you find out the source of the problem. PS: Early grey hair is hereditary, my mother starting greying at a young age and so have all of us (the children).

9:01PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Dementia can be frightening. My older sister has had Dementia for about 7 years. She doesn't remembers things or people, she gets confused easily, but she still retains her personality. She is still my sister. Dementia sufferers need love and they need attention.

3:24PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Good information, thank you!

10:47PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

Thank you - maybe i'm not loosing the plot!

7:42AM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

Thank you - good information.

11:34PM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

As the article points out, dementia can come from stress or medications. But I think, by far, the worst cause of early dementia is pollution - in our water, food, from microwaves by cooking in plastics, the air and a host of many other things we're subjected to every day. But it's been a rumor for quite a while that there may be cases of "mad cow" which is being kept silent, because the hunters, the ranchers, and the CDC/WHO and other agencies do not want us to stop eating meat - the bottom line is always the profit.

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