Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability such as memory loss. This can be severe enough to interfere with daily life. Symptoms of dementia can vary.
At least two of the following symptoms must be present to be considered dementia:
- Memory loss
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images
- Problems with speaking or writing
- Difficulty paying attention or focusing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgement
- Withdrawal form work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
Symptoms start slowly and gradually get worse. Many people have memory loss issues; this does not always mean they have dementia. If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss or other changes in skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor for a professional evaluation.