Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia causes damage to the brain, which over time means that the person’s brain starts to work less efficiently and cannot function in the way it has in the past. 

Early symptoms of dementia are often mild, meaning that the person may not notice changes and family and friends might not recognise these changes either. As symptoms progress they will get worse, although this is often a slow process (but can be quicker for a person with a Learning Disability). As symptoms become more severe, they will have a greater impact on the person’s day to day life and everyday activities. 

Sometimes the changes in a person with a learning disability are attributed to their “learning disability” and not seen as a potential health condition. This is known as diagnostic overshadowing. For more information, please see our Module on ‘Timely Diagnosis’ in Theme 5 The Dementia Pathway.


Contents of this mini book:

  • How Dementia begins
  • Is Dementia all about Memory Loss?
  • Common Dementia Symptoms
  • Dementia Symptoms when a Person has a Learning Disability
  • Dementia Symptoms when a Person has a Profound or Multiple Learning Disability
  • Symptoms Don’t Always mean the Person has Dementia
  • Best Practice for Spotting Signs and Symptoms