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Early warning signs of dementia

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Dementia refers to several different medical conditions that cause a person gradually to lose brain functioning. Dementia is frequently associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but other medical conditions can cause dementia as well.

Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. As people age, they may have temporary lapses in memory or judgment. On the other hand, the symptoms of dementia get progressively worse until a person needs constant medical and personal care. Also, dementia can affect people under the age of 65.

Here are some early warning signs of dementia:

  • Short term memory loss, even when the information is something the person typically would retain.
  • New challenges with what used to be routine tasks, like paying regular bills or following a recipe.
  • Confusion over directions, times and dates, or familiar locations.
  • Difficulty using words and phrases the person used to know.
  • Changes in emotions or personality.

One should keep in mind that these are just some warning signs according to the Alzheimer’s Association. No one sign necessarily means a loved one has dementia, especially if there is another explanation like medication or even an external stressor.

What legal steps should I take if I or my loved one have dementia?

The good news is that if it is caught in its early stages, a person with dementia can still do many things both to slow down the condition and to continue to live a full life.

Importantly, Washington residents who are in the early stages of dementia usually can, and should, sign estate planning documents. Among other things, these documents can give their trusted loved ones the power to make financial and medical decisions for them when they are no longer able to do so.

South King County residents who have recently been diagnosed with dementia will want to consider their estate planning options carefully.

They may, for example, need to create a will or trust or sign other important legal documents to put their family on solid footing for the future.