Some of the early warning signs of dementia include short-term memory loss, impaired communication, apathy and other mood changes, difficultly doing normal tasks, and confusion, according to Healthline. Dementia is a group of symptoms that can be caused by several diseases. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.
Memory loss is one of the hallmark warning signs of dementia, explains the Alzheimer's Association. However, just because an older person has memory loss does not automatically mean she has dementia. Memory loss can manifest as forgetting where objects are placed, forgetting to pay bills or not remembering when appointments are scheduled.
Impaired communication related to dementia involves people having difficulty finding the right words or conversations that are significantly longer than usual, reports Healthline. Patients in the early stages of dementia may also experience changes in their mood, especially depression and apathy. Apathy involves a loss of interest in doing previous hobbies or spending time with loved ones and a flattened affect.
As the disease processes, normal tasks that used to be easy become more complicated and difficult for people with dementia, according to MedlinePlus. In the later stages of the disease, people with dementia are unable to feed, bathe or dress themselves and cannot live independently.