There may be multiple reasons for a person to develop a deteriorated level of cognitive functioning than expected for a particular age and among them, genetic susceptibility, medical illnesses, poor psychological stimulation and psychological status along with vascular accidents would have to be given priority.
The condition is slowly progressive in many instances and at times could also be static as well. In case it is progressing, the initial symptoms might not be taken in as a predictor of dementia as they relate to many age related cognitive impairments. But, the difference in a person who has age related impairment and dementia would be the increased frequency of such symptoms and losing of the skills that would have possessed early in life.
Thus, the warning signs which indicate the possible development of dementia in a person would be,
Probably the earliest signs of dementia would relate to loss of memory in relation to recent events or things that were learnt recently. Although a normal person might remember them later, these individuals will forget often and will not remember them later on as well.
-Problem in performing familiar tasks
These individuals will sometimes have problems in performing everyday tasks that they have been familiar with for a very long time. At the same time, in combination with memory loss, they will fail in remembering if they ever did that kind of work even in the recent past.
Dementia patient might get loss in their own terrain. For instance, they may not be able to find their home in their own street or else might wonder how they came to that location in the first place. They will often forget the date and the time as well.
Inappropriate use of words would be a manifestation of poor ability to keep track of the words and would increase in frequency with time.
They would often lost things that they are used to use and at its advanced stage might accuse others of stealing as well.
Inappropriate and excessive spending would be a problem in these patients as they fail to judge the requirement and the appropriateness about what they are doing.
-Rapid mood swings
Even though the mood swings are possible in older age, the rapidity of its change and its effect to everyday living would be significant among dementia patients.
These changes can be described as suspicious, fearful, confused, apathetic, intrusive as well as uncommunicative.
The above would be the changes that can be noticed at the beginning of the disease and in the initial stages of its progression. The progression of these symptoms would be slow and might misdirect the caregivers as to think these are normal changes related to age. But, being vigilant regarding these changes will invariably indicate its inappropriateness even for advanced age that should prompt seeking medical and other supportive treatments as soon as possible.