As people age, they may notice changes in the way their brain works, including difficulties with memory and other cognitive functions. While some of these changes are normal and expected with aging, others may be signs of dementia, which is a more serious condition that affects a person’s ability to think, remember, and communicate.

Common symptoms of dementia in the early stages include memory loss, difficulty with planning or focusing, challenges with performing familiar tasks, confusion about time and place, problems with writing or speaking, misplacing things, poor judgment, withdrawing from social activities, and changes in mood.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it is important to consider your age and risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Some of the factors that may contribute to developing dementia include age, sex, family history, genetics, history of head injury, and certain health conditions and behaviors.

While it can be difficult to distinguish between normal, age-related cognitive changes and dementia, there are some things you can keep in mind. For example, if you are experiencing several of the symptoms of dementia consistently and they are becoming more frequent or severe, it may be a sign that you need to seek medical attention.

It is also important to understand that there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing dementia, such as staying physically and mentally active, eating a healthy diet, managing chronic health conditions, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

If you are concerned about your cognitive health or are experiencing symptoms of dementia, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. They can help you determine whether your symptoms are related to normal aging or if they may be a sign of a more serious condition like dementia.