Understanding early signs

Dementia is a term that is used to describe a number of conditions that cause damage to the brain. This damage generally happens over time and will have a gradual impact on a person's ability to remember and to manage everyday life. 

Alzheimer's is the most common and well-known type of dementia. Other types of dementia include Vascular dementia, Lewybodies dementia and Frontotemporal dementia.

The early signs and symptoms of dementia may vary from person to person, and each type of dementia can have particular symptoms or characteristics linked to it. However, some general early signs and symptoms include:

  • Memory loss, particularly for recent events
  • Problems with language, difficulty finding the right word
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Becoming confused in familiar surroundings or situations
  • Difficulty in following conversations, TV programmes or reading
  • Difficulty managing money and everyday tasks
  • Difficulty solving problems or doing puzzles
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and pastimes
  • Repeating a question or story several times without realising

Most people will experience a number of these signs and will find that they are having increasing difficulty over time. In general, signs and symptoms emerge gradually.

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About Alzheimer Ireland

The Society was founded in 1982 by a small group of people who were caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease or a related dementia. Find out what we docontact us and more

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We offer a range of services for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, their families and carers. All our services operate using the philosophy of person centred care.

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Fundraising is an extremely important source of revenue for our services and takes place locally across Ireland as well as through national events and campaigns. We aim is to raise €5 million a year.


The Alzheimer Society of Ireland has, since it was founded, campaigned on behalf of people with dementia and their carers to improve the lives of all those affected by dementia.


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