Signs and Symptoms

The early signs of dementia are similar to red flags, one red flag might get your attention, but the more red flags, the more imperative it is to see a health care provider. 

Early signs or changes from a "person's normal" that begin to affect daily life include:

  • Memory loss of recent events and information

  • Confusion about place and time

  • Familiar tasks become challenging

  • Trouble finding words, finishing thoughts and sentences, or following directions

  • Decreased reasoning ability and altered judgment

  • Changes in mood and personality, frequent mood swings, disinterest or withdrawal, suspicion

  • Difficulty with complex mental tasks, planning, problem-solving

  • Withdrawal from work/social activities 


While red flags can indicate a problem, it might not be dementia. That is why getting an accurate diagnosis is so important. Another medical condition, medication interactions or side-effects, hearing or vision loss, depression, thyroid problems, or even severe but untreated pain are all reasons to get a proper diagnosis.