Vacancy – this is a common feature of early stage dementia but it must be remembered that listening with any degree of impairment becomes an exhausting activity. The tendency can be to shut off – the person can become vacant – not surprising when listening is such an effort.
Losing confidence – Dementia can make a person hang back and not have the confidence they used to, but again, if listening effort is tough – you stop listening. What does that do to your everyday confidence and ability to plan and solve problems?
Lack of concentration – When you have untreated hearing loss the level of concentration required just to follow a basic conversation is significant – so after a few hours of this every day – fatigue kicks in and concentration goes out the window!
Confusion with time or place – again a common symptom for dementia, getting appointments wrong is hardly surprising if hearing is less than perfect.
Trouble joining in a conversation – a sign of dementia but a very obvious consequence of hearing loss.
Decreased or poor judgement and/or changes in mood and personality – often hearing loss can cause people to feel misunderstood and cross, or that they are always on the wrong end of the conversation. This, in time, can cause resentment and lead to decreased and poor judgement. They can become confused, suspicious, aggressive, depressed, fearful or anxious.
Withdrawal from work or social activities – a very common consequence of hearing loss and early stage dementia.