Skip to content

If You Have These 5 Symptoms, You May Be Getting Dementia

Doctor warns to watch out for these dementia symptoms. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

According to the World Health Organization, 55 million people worldwide live with dementia—a condition that affects memory, language and a decline in cognitive abilities that interferes with daily life. It's important to note that dementia is, "not a single disease; it's an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer's disease. Disorders grouped under the general term "dementia" are caused by abnormal brain changes," the Alzheimer's Association states. There are specific signs that indicate someone has dementia and Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with  Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health, and Saint Mary's Hospital who explained symptoms to watch out for. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


What to Know About Dementia

older man with dementia talking to doctor
Shutterstock / Robert Kneschke

Dr. Curry-Winchell says, "The inner workings related to how dementia affects the brain is multifaceted and can be different for each person. The main findings associated with the onset of the disease are amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, chronic inflammation, decrease in blood flow (meaning less oxygen to brain) and death of cells (neurons) responsible for transmitting information to all areas of your body — which is why dementia can be a devastating disease."


Unable to Recall Familiar Surroundings or People in Your Life

Portrait of worried senior man sitting on sofa in living room

According to Dr. Curry-Winchell, "Patients with dementia will show difficulty recognizing common places, familiar people or events. Because these neurons (specialized cells) located in the brain have become damaged, preventing the brain's ability to extract this stored information."


Difficulty Speaking or Recalling Words

senior woman with adult daughter at home.

Dr. Curry-Winchell states, "Everyone has experienced a moment they are lost for words or have difficulty with word retrieval; however, for patients suffering with dementia this occurrence becomes the norm. The neurons (specialized cells) located in the brain become damaged or die, preventing the transfer of information stored in the hippocampus and entorhinal area of the brain that is responsible for your memory. A good example is a plugged hose that can no longer function leading to the inability for water to pass through."


Taking Longer to Complete a Normal Task

Senior Hispanic Man Suffering With Dementia Trying To Dress

"What once was a task they could do without giving it a second thought is now very challenging to a person with dementia," says Dr. Curry-Winchell. "The neurons that are responsible for sending signals to your muscles start to lose their function. An example is a loss of cell phone or Wi-Fi coverage. You physically have a phone but can't place a call due to loss of connectivity." 



Senior woman conducting an interview

Dr. Curry-Winchell says, "The process of thinking before acting is an exercise performed daily with the choices we make for ourselves and family. If the cerebral cortex is impacted, it could change the way we act and our decision making."


Not Caring About People's Feelings


Dr. Curry-Winchell explains, "Friends and family will notice a person suffering from dementia may start to show a level of indifference to things they used to care about. This can be heartbreaking for a family member or friends to experience. Although physically they remain visible, unfortunately, the core foundation (mentally) of who they are starts to disappear." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather