What are the symptoms of dementia?

Every person with dementia is different. How their illness affects them depends on which areas of their brain are most damaged.

Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of dementia. Everyone forgets things sometimes and most people’s memory gets worse as they get older. But when someone has dementia they may become very forgetful. For example, they may forget the names of family members or whether they have eaten lunch or not. They may repeat questions without realising.

People with dementia may lose track of the time and day. They may forget where they are or be confused. Their ability to think and work things out can be affected. They may make decisions that seem strange to us. Handling money may become difficult and they may find it difficult to solve problems.

Dementia can also change the person’s personality and the way they behave. We are all unique individuals and that’s what makes the experience of dementia so diverse. If you are noticing dramatic changes in personality and what’s typical of your behaviour then speak to your doctor about your concern (or call our Helpline for more information).

Over several years, most functions of the brain will gradually be affected. Eventually, a person with dementia will probably need help with simple activities like dressing, eating or going to the toilet.