During the holiday season we tend to see more of our family than we would throughout the rest of the year. Spending time with our elderly relatives is a really good opportunity to assess how they are doing and if their living circumstances are still suitable. It sounds like a horrible subject to have to think about but the reality is that, as they get older they become forgetful, weaker and generally less mobile – it happens to us all.

The Christmas period gives family members a little insight into how the older members are coping with the everyday challenges of living on their own. One of the major concerns for family members is the onset of Dementia among older relations.

We have compiled a few things to look out for over the holiday period to help spot early signs of dementia in your elderly relatives.

Mood swings and personality change – often coupled with depression these symptoms are often a result of frustration with having to deal with other more debilitating symptoms.

Forgetfulness – this is a common sign of dementia. It can be as simple as forgetting a name or conversation – it is often most noticeable in short term memory reference.

General confusion – this can include losing track of time, disorientation or forgetting important dates. Forgetting where they are or how they got there regardless of how familiar the place, is also a common occurrence.

Difficulty with everyday activities – they may start finding it difficult to perform normal tasks like getting dressed or making tea.

Indifference – a lack of enthusiasm towards loved ones or hobbies. Start to withdraw from social activities and generally lose interest in things once enjoyed.

Decision making and misjudgement – this can often be misinterpreted as being cantankerous but the inability to assess and evaluate the consequences of their actions is a clear sign and symptom of dementia.

Communication – symptoms can include difficulty following or joining conversations, remembering words or explanations.

Ageing can be challenging so, it is important to understand that these symptoms do not confirm the onset of dementia merely suggest the possibility. It is always recommended to seek the advice of a medical professional before making assumptions. Also The Alzheimer’s society has a huge library of helpful fact sheets.

If living on your/their own is no longer an option, we specialise in helping people move house. If you or a family member needs help moving whether it’s into assisted living or a care home or just into a smaller house, we can help with the downsizing project. It might be that you are too busy to support an elderly relative with the rigmarole of moving; or maybe the thought of downsizing is just too daunting to face on your own. Give us a call on 01344 723292 or use our contact form.

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We’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – roll on 2017!