Do you remember ‘Still Alice’, the incredibly sad 2014 film about a woman’s struggle with early-onset dementia? There’s a scene near the beginning when Alice goes out running and suddenly realises she doesn’t know where she is. It’s a route she runs most days, so it’s not unfamiliar. She just doesn’t recognise it any more and is completely lost. And very frightened.
Like memory loss and confusion over words, disorientation is one of the early signs of dementia. Of course, it won’t always necessarily be dementia – difficulty remembering, or feeling a bit befuddled are normal parts of the ageing process, as many of us know! It could just be mild cognitive impairment, which is common as we get older, but it’s well worth getting it checked out by a doctor.
If it is dementia, seeking help for your loved one at an early stage is important. There are many organisations that offer invaluable help and information. You might want to take legal and financial planning advice, too, so that you can make sure your love one gets the care and support they need, when they need it.
Are you noticing early signs of dementia in your parents or older relatives? Share your thoughts and tips.
Simplyhealth Care for Life team