How is Dementia Diagnosed?

Dementia and Occupational Therapy - Home caregiver and senior adult woman playing with blocks

Dementia is a term used to describe a wide range of conditions that cause mental decline affecting someone’s ability to cope with daily life. While Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common dementia disorder, dementia in total, affects more than 5.5 million Americans, many of them seniors.

Here are some insights into how dementia is diagnosed, from the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ:

Steps to Diagnose Dementia

Unfortunately, there is no single test that determines whether someone has dementia. This means that doctors, including specialists, need to evaluate a person carefully before they can give a diagnosis. This evaluation will include:

  • Complete personal and family medical histories
  • Testing of mental status and mood
  • A physical and neurological exam
  • Tests and scans to rule out other neurological conditions that may present with dementia-like symptoms

This last step is very important, because other health conditions can result in confusion and memory loss, which require early diagnosis and treatment. Some of these conditions are easily treated and even curable, like depression, so it’s important not to ignore dementia-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Dementia Conditions 

Dementia conditions are progressive and often start very slowly. It’s important to watch out for the following symptoms to ensure early diagnosis and treatment:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty following a plan or solving a problem
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion regarding time and place, seasons or dates
  • Difficulty judging distances, determining colors or contrasts, or interpreting images
  • Difficulty pronouncing familiar words
  • Misplacing things or putting things in strange places (keys in the fridge, etc.)
  • Problems making sound judgement calls
  • Mood and personality changes

While any of these things can happen once in a while and can increase with age, it is important to take note of any significant increases in frequency and schedule a doctor’s appointment. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the better the treatment options.

Memory Care Services for Dementia Patients – Assisted living in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at contact us today or book a personal tour.

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    205 Jumping Brook Road
    Neptune, NJ 07753
    Phone: 732-922-9800