Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Photo by from Pexels
Photo by from Pexels

The family put our heads together and came up with a list of symptoms.  The following are notes given to Dad’s Primary Care Physician in December 2005.


Re: Changes we have noticed in our father’s daily activities.     

  • Dizzy in the mornings (he is frustrated that none of his doctor visits have addressed this or helped do something to alleviate the dizziness.)
  • Very frustrated by all the doctor appointments and his family’s involvement with this. Has been uncharacteristically snappy towards us about it.
  • His driving has been affected (especially the last two years):
  • He drives very slowly.
  • He has had several “mini accidents” such as brushing the sides of cars.
  • Weaving so as to be stopped and questioned if he’s been drinking.
  • Gets disoriented about which way to go even after pointing out the correct way.
  • Has become a very restless sleeper.
  • Noticeably disoriented in unfamiliar settings i.e. a family trip, at in-laws house for the holidays.
  • One of his daughters has a Neuro-Psych background and after not seeing him for 15 months saw him in August of 2005 and said “he is a different person”.
  • In Nov. & Dec. we noticed these things specifically:
    • Opening gifts was mechanically difficult.
    • He was cutting a block of cheese with the dull side of the knife.
    • Couldn’t put a flashlight back together.
    • Likes a bowl of milk and rice – poured milk over his rice when the rice was served on a plate.
    • Asked what “percussion” is after hearing about his grandson’s drum concert.
    • Got agitated at our mother in the car and began driving faster and worse than he has been.
    • Confuses which family member belongs to which family.
  • Can recite poetry he’s learned clearly.
  • Can give directions clearly and in specific detail.


Be as specific as you can be with symptoms and behavioral issues, it will assist the medical team with a diagnosis.

Now that I know more about Lewy Body dementia, many of these symptoms seem classic Lewy.   However, hindsight is 20/20 and this was 13 years ago.  I wonder if the current medical community would have diagnosed him much sooner.

In the next blog you will read about Dad’s initial diagnosis.


3 comments on “Signs and Symptoms of Dementia”
  1. paulvanwie says:

    My most profound moment of realizing my mother’s slide into Dementia was 10 years before she died when she broke down, sobbing and crying out why? Why do I have to be so forgetful? It’s more then just getting older, it’s something else. She and I did not understand how prophetic her concern was then. As every year till she died, her memory and cognitive skills continued to decline. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Get Outlook for Android



    1. Nancy P says:

      Your mom was a wonderful friend to my parents. Her love for God brightened up the world. I’m so sad she was also a victim of dementia.


      1. paulvanwie says:

        When you are available for phone vist text me or call me


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