12 Warning Signs of Dementia to Watch for

12 Warning Signs of Dementia to Watch for

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



There is no denying that the prospect of your loved one developing dementia is overwhelming. Dementia removes a person’s memories and even has the potential of changing personality and habits in unexpected ways.

Though we never want our parents to go through this, it is important to pay attention to all of the possible signs of dementia indicating that something may be going on. The reality is that when dementia starts to impact your loved one’s everyday life, it may be time to seek a professional evaluation and begin pursuing additional care.

Download The Beginner’s Guide to Recognizing Early Signs of Dementia

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is a degeneration of the brain that interferes with a person’s thinking process, memory, and ability to reason. This happens because the parts of the brain used for learning, memory, and decision-making have somehow been compromised by damage or disease.

Dementia is a neurocognitive disorder and is not actually a disease but a collection of symptoms that are the result of other existing conditions. Alzheimers’s disease is typically the most common cause of this disorder. Sixty percent to 80 percent of those with dementia have Alzheimer’s.

Warning Signs of Dementia

  1. Short-term memory loss. Short term memory loss can start out seemingly normal with everyday things such as lost keys or an unpaid bill. It becomes more concerning when the memory loss disrupts life.
  2. Difficulty carrying out conversations. It is not uncommon for a person to have difficulties putting their thoughts into words when they have dementia. It may be difficult to join or follow a conversation or be unable to find the right words.
  3. Changes in mood or temperament. Another early sign is unpredictable changes in mood. The person can become instantly sad or angry, even when the precise cause is difficult to distinguish.
  4. Inability to follow instructionsThose who have dementia develop an inability to perform daily activities, navigate to familiar destinations, and complete routine chores or jobs.
  5. Inability to recognize places. Someone suffering from dementia can get lost easily or suddenly not be able to remember how he or she got somewhere.
  6. Becoming an observer. In social situations, someone with dementia may act more as an observer than an active participant as it becomes difficult to follow the track of conversations.
  7. Trouble completing daily routines. Normal daily tasks, such as washing the dishes or folding the laundry, often start to fall to the wayside.
  8. Avoiding change. A person with dementia has a hard time processing something new or different from what he or she is used to.
  9. Lapses of judgement. Individuals with dementia may make decisions or choices that are out of character potentially posing safety concerns. For example, not dressing appropriately for the weather.
  10. Repetition. A person with dementia will often repeat stories and ask repetitive questions.
  11. Social withdrawal. As memory loss begins to impact daily life, it is common for those with dementia to reduce social interactions such as joining card clubs or participating in cherished activities.

Finding the Right Residence

When looking for housing for a loved one with dementia, be sure to evaluate:

  • Environment. Look for warm and welcoming environments with outdoor spaces, bright lighting, and dignified decor.
  • Engagement Programming. Find communities that provide the ability for your loved one to enjoy favorite interests and hobbies, follow personalized care plans based on preferences, and take part in routines.
  • Expertise & Training. Ask about the training and support is offered to the caregivers and what education is offered to the families.
  • Acceptance. Watch how the staff interacts with your loved one to evaluate whether they are focused on the person or just on the disease. Do they make eye contact, do they address your loved one directly, and are they comfortable with the residents? Are they forming real relationships with the people in the community?
  • Come informed. Bring a list of the things that are most important to you and your loved one in a senior community so that you can ask the right questions to find a place that works for you.

Take your time when making your choice. When you think you have found the right place, visit it multiple times to ensure you have fully observed the way that the staff interacts with the community and how daily activities are carried out. After a handful of visits, trust your instincts and you will make the right choice for the unique needs of your loved one.

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