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Sure Signs You May Have Dementia, According to the CDC

“Memory often changes as people grow older. Some people notice changes in themselves before anyone else does.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It can be scary, to not trust your own mind, and that's the betrayal sufferers of dementia feel every day—and there are many of them. "Of those at least 65 years of age, there" are "projected to be nearly 14 million by 2060," says the CDC. "Because dementia is a general term, its symptoms can vary widely from person to person. People with dementia have problems with" the following symptoms you're about to read about. See what the CDC says—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

1

You May Have Memory Issues

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"Dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities," says the CDC. "Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Though dementia mostly affects older adults, it is not a part of normal aging." Memory loss—"forgetting events, repeating yourself or relying on more aids to help you remember (like sticky notes or reminders)"—is a key signifier.

2

You May Have Attention Issues

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Your mind might wander, or you may be making many mistakes, like "misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: placing car keys in the washer or dryer or not being able to retrace steps to find something," says the CDC.

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3

You May Have Communication Issues

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You may have "new problems with words in speaking or writing: having trouble following or joining a conversation or struggling to find a word you are looking for (saying 'that thing on your wrist that tells time' instead of 'watch')."

RELATED: 5 Ways to Prevent Dementia, Says Dr. Sanjay Gupta

4

You May Have Trouble With Reasoning, Judgment, and Problem Solving

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If you find yourself having "challenges in planning or solving problems: having trouble paying bills or cooking recipes you have used for years," then that is cause for concern.

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5

You May Have Issues With Visual Perception Beyond Typical Age-Related Changes in Vision

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Are you "having more difficulty with balance or judging distance, tripping over things at home, or spilling or dropping things more often?" Then that is a sign of dementia.

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6

These Are Other Signs That May Point to Dementia

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The CDC days the following can be worrying signs:

  • "Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
  • Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
  • Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
  • Forgetting old memories
  • Not being able to complete tasks independently"

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7

What to Do If You Fear You Have Dementia

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Contact a medical professional if you're in need of help. "A healthcare provider can perform tests on attention, memory, problem solving and other cognitive abilities to see if there is cause for concern," says the CDC. "A physical exam, blood tests, and brain scans like a CT or MRI can help determine an underlying cause." So see your doctor, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more