Aging at Home Dementia & Alzheimer's Family Caregiver

The Unusual Early Signs of Dementia

The Unusual Early Signs of Dementia

The Strange & Unusual Early Signs of Dementia

Learn the strange and surprising early warning signs!

Choose Your Home Care Agency Wisely! Four (4) Key Areas To Consider.

Is your loved one losing their sight, falling more often or becoming more gullible?

We might think we understand the basics of dementia with all the research that’s available …
but, I’ll bet there are some early signs that may surprise you!


“If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it’s worth checking in with your doctor.

However, it’s important to note that the behaviors mentioned on this list

are not “signs of dementia unless they are a change from someone’s previous behavior,”

according to Dr. Rankin, Neuropsychologist at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center

The Strange & Unusual Early Signs of Dementia – Learn the strange and surprising early warning signs!

Let’s take a look at some early signs of dementia that may surprise you! 

The Strange & Unusual Early Signs of Dementia

1- Loss Of Sight Or Visual Problems.

Yes, your loved one can have visual problems AND have healthy eyes!  Dementia affects the parts of the brain that handle the visual information coming from the eyes – it can be hard to separate loss of sight from the signs of dementia. Look for issues with them being unable to cope with low light, bright light, or both; having difficulty judging distance or with depth perception, and no longer being able to see well even when wearing their glasses.

2- Falls or Slips More Than Usual.

One of the earliest signs may be physical and not mental. Problems with balance and frequent slips and falls can be an early signal of dementia if they begin to occur more often than usual.

3- Unable To Recognize Sarcasm Or Lies.

Many people can no longer tell when someone is being sarcastic or lying to them  in the early stages of dementia. They pay more attention to the words being used and lose the ability to understand the nuance and tone of the conversation.

4- Becomes Hurtful And Losses Empathy For Others.

When normally considerate and pleasant behavior becomes insulting or cruel, without regret, this is a sign of early dementia. It can be challenging to remember that this behavior is the “disease speaking” and not the person you love.

5- Loses a Sense of Normal Social Behaviors and The Law.

As strange as it may sound, someone with dementia can start shoplifting or begin to use inappropriate sexual behavior or comments – they can become impulsive and begin to act ‘out of character.

6- Begins To Stare More Frequently and Has Trouble Reading.

 If you notice frequent staring, ‘zoning out’, or your loved one starts to skip lines when reading, this can be a sign of early-onset dementia. Normally, we all move our eyes around as we speak or perform tasks.

7- Develops Strange Eating Habits.

New research has found strange eating habits can develop that include eating rancid food, cramming food into their mouth, or eating non-food objects. While uncommon, this is clearly a cause for concern.

8- Compulsive Behavior.

If you notice obsessive-compulsive behaviors like repeatedly locking doors, hoarding or excessive cleanliness, they can be signs of dementia. OCD and dementia can manifest together, so watch out for any odd behaviors.

9- Struggles With Money Management & Problem Solving.

When cognitive skills and the ability to focus decline, once easy tasks can take longer to complete or become harder to accomplish. Your loved one may need additional help with tasks like simple math problems, money management, and following recipes over time.

10- Forgets What Objects Are Used For.

If your loved one starts to forget the names of objects, and what they’re used for, this is a symptom of early dementia. Many who lose this type of knowledge can be quite competent in other areas of their lives – so this early dementia symptom can easily be missed.

11- Difficulties Forming and Choosing Words.

Searching for the right word, a diminished vocabulary, getting lost in the middle of a conversation, and garbled speech – with impaired cognition, any one of these may begin to happen more frequently.  Even if they can still think clearly and work, they may start to have difficulty forming words.

The Unusual Early Signs of Dementia

What Can You Do?

If you notice your loved one’s behavior has changed and now exhibits some symptoms of early dementia, schedule an appointment with their doctor to help determine the cause.

  • If the symptoms are not dementia related, then treatment can be recommended.
  • If it is dementia related, there may be treatments available to help slow the disease’s progress if needed.
 Remember, you are not alone.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a wealth of information and classes on dementia and related symptoms.

Alzheimer’s Association Hawaii

The Strange & Unusual Early Signs of Dementia


What Can We Do For Your Ohana?

If you want to learn more about part-time or full-time

Home Care, reach out to us!

We’d love to answer your questions.


Begin Attending Family Caregiver Workshops,

like the ones Ohana Care Maui and Alzheimer’s Association Hawaii  offer,

to help you understand more about dementia, get practical tips & techniques and

learn how to interact with your loved one.


We Call It Keeping Our Promises.  —  You’ll Call it Exceptional Care.


For More Information take a look at the following articles:

What You Need to Know to Age in Place Safely


Get the Help, Support and Information You Need for

Alzheimer’s or Dementia!

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