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Warning Signs You're in Danger of Dementia

Knowing these signs can save your life.

Dementia is a serious disorder with one unavoidable risk factor: Simply getting older. According to the World Health Organization, cases of dementia are expected to triple by the year 2050, simply because so many of us are aging. These are the warning signs you're in danger of dementia. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


What Is Dementia?

Radiologist looking at the MRI scan images.

Dementia is an umbrella term for several disorders of the brain. They involve changes to memory, thinking, personality, and judgment that interfere with a person's ability to function. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting about 6.2 million Americans. Aging is the #1 risk factor for Alzheimer's. Most cases are diagnosed in people older than 65. 

As of now, Alzheimer's has no cure. But seeking treatment early may slow the progression of the disease. That's why it's important to look out for these potential symptoms.

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Memory Changes

Stressed middle 60s aged worker woman massaging head suffering of headache in home office.

Problems with memory are one of the most common symptoms of dementia. Someone with dementia may have trouble remembering recent events, names and places. They may forget where they left certain objects and be unable to retrace their steps. A certain level of forgetfulness is a normal feature of aging, but if memory issues begin to affect your day-to-day life, your doctor should know about it.

RELATED: Everyday Habits That Lead To Aging, According To Experts


Difficulty With Language

Close-up portrait of charming old lady, covering her mouth with hands

A person with dementia may have trouble remembering the right words or following a conversation. They might use substitutions or talk around words or details they can't recall. This symptom can be subtle, not easily noticed by the person with cognitive decline or the people around them. When cognition declines, some people begin to self-isolate, spending less time with others in order to hide memory problems or increased difficulty following conversations.

RELATED: This Blood Type Puts You at Risk for Dementia


Coordination Problems

Elderly stroke, Asian older woman suffer fall.

Dementia may cause an affected person to have trouble walking or maintaining coordination. That can include having difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things, or dropping items more often, says the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

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Getting Lost

Female neighbor giving senior woman a lift In car.

Difficulty navigating familiar routes can be an early sign of dementia. An affected person might have trouble remembering a frequently used highway exit or finding their way home from a familiar neighborhood.

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Differences in Mood

selective focus of depressed african american man sitting with bowed head

Experts say that mood changes are a symptom of dementia that's often overlooked. A person with dementia may become apathetic, losing interest in activities they used to enjoy. Family members may attribute these changes to depression or stress. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael