What Symptoms of Dementia Typically Appear First?

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Symptoms of dementia that appear early include short-term memory loss, difficulty finding the right words, difficulty following a storyline, changes in mood and personality, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, and difficulty in completing complex tasks, states Healthline. A failing sense of direction and repetitiveness are also early symptoms.

Dementia is diagnosed not just by memory problems but also by impairments in communication, language, focus or reasoning that are severe enough to affect daily life, states Healthline. The elderly person with dementia may forget what he had for breakfast or where he placed his car keys. An elderly person with early dementia may have difficulty balancing his checkbook or playing games with a lot of rules.