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10 Warning Signs of Dementia

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
One of the most common signs of dementia is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
Doing ordinary things, like hobbies and money matters are more difficult. Also activities that require planning or should be done in a certain order supply problems, such as travelling or preparing a meal.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or at work
People with dementia often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favourite game.

4. Confusion with time or place
People with dementia can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. They may forget where they are or how they got there.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
For some people, having vision problems is a sign of dementia. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining colour or contrast or they may not recognise themselves in a mirror.

6. Problems with words in speaking or writing
People with dementia may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
A person with dementia may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.

8. Decreased or poor judgement
People with dementia may experience changes in judgement or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgement when dealing with money, giving large amounts to a street musician or ordering things they cannot pay for. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
People with dementia may give up hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favourite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced, thinking that if they do nothing, nothing can go wrong.

10. Changes in mood and personality
The mood and personalities of people with dementia can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.

*Source: Alzheimer’s Association,

The following websites provide useful information about Alzheimer’s disease for people affected by the disease and their family and carers.

Alzheimer’s WA


Dementia Australia


Alzheimer’s Association (USA)


Alzheimer’s Disease International (UK)



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