The earliest stage of dementia is recognizable due to mild forgetfulness, difficulties with problem-solving and some trouble with complex tasks. The most confusing issue regarding early dementia is whether it is, in fact, dementia or simply being distracted. The biggest difference between early dementia and routine absentmindedness is that the symptoms of early dementia are persistent, while the symptoms of absentmindedness are predominantly associated with being preoccupied.
Someone who has early dementia might notice the forgetfulness and may become concerned about it, often wondering if the symptoms are indicators of dementia. Someone who has absentmindedness may forget details or even major points, but can usually identify that he was thinking about something else at the time. A person who experiences absentmindedness can deal with complex problems as well as he always has been able to when he devotes attention to the situation. A person with early dementia remains forgetful even when able to fully concentrate on the situation at hand.
Overall, life with early dementia can be stressful. If you or a loved one is showing signs of early dementia, it is important to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible. There may be other causes of these symptoms, so you should talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms and receive a thorough evaluation to see if there is another treatable cause. If the cause is, in fact, dementia, then treatment may be initiated. And you and your loved ones will need to get all of the information to be able to ensure that you get as much assistance and attention as needed so that you can manage life as safely and productively as possible.
Next: Mild Stage Dementia