Recognizing the signs from afar

Published: Feb 02, 2021
Woman in wheelchair

Recognizing The Signs Of Dementia From Afar During COVID-19

During these unprecedented times, families are not getting together in person as they normally would. Instead, you may be seeing your loved ones online or talking to them on the phone. If you are concerned that someone you know might be displaying signs of dementia, here are some things to consider.

  • Are your phone conversations with them shorter than usual or more vague?
  • Do they frequently excuse themselves from the conversation with reasons such as “I have to let you go, someone is at the door.” (Even though you suspect that no one is at the door.)
  • Are they not calling you? Do they say they forgot, or “I didn’t want to bother you”? (a response that seems unusual to you.)
  • Are they calling all the time or at unusual times?
  • During conversations are they repeating themselves, losing words or replacing words with forgotten ones?
  • Are they more easily distracted during the conversation?
  • Has the person stopped doing or enjoying the things they used to do?
  • Do they request the same grocery item just after you purchased it for them?
  • Are they asking for easy-to-eat items such as cookies, crackers or ice cream? (i.e. items that don’t require cooking)
  • Do they complain that they keep losing things or that someone is stealing from them?
  • Have you noticed changes in their mood or personality?
  • Do they appear to have lost weight?
  • Are they disclosing if they have fallen? Have you noticed bruising, unexplainable pain/discomfort or confusion?
  • Have they stopped leaving the home due to fear of getting lost?
  • Are they exaggerating or telling untrue stories?
  • Are they identifying changes that they see in themselves that are causing concern?
  • Are you noticing changes to the person’s environment? For instance do you notice clutter piling up in the living room, a stack of unopened mail, or food sitting out on the counter?

The above signs may or may not be indicators of dementia. However, no concern or question is too small. Reach out to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary today by calling 403.290.0110 or email

You may also find some helpful information on our website