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Signs of Dementia in Men: Understanding Changes and Finding Help

Senior man staring out a window

Dementia is a journey that affects everyone it touches – those living with the condition and their loved ones. While the core experiences of dementia are shared, there can be subtle differences in how it manifests in men and women.

Understanding these differences can help families and caregivers recognize potential early signs and seek the right support. Here, we’ll explore the subtle signs of dementia in men, offering information aimed at supporting those who walk alongside them.

Core Symptoms of Dementia

Before we dive into signs that may be more common in men, it’s important to understand the basic hallmarks of dementia. These core symptoms affect thinking, behavior, and everyday function:

  • Memory Loss goes beyond occasional forgetfulness. It includes difficulty remembering recent events, conversations, or familiar names and faces. Frequent misplacing of items can also be a sign.
  • Difficulty With Daily Tasks: Once-familiar routines, like cooking a meal or getting dressed, become confusing or challenging.
  • Communication Challenges: Changes in the ability to follow conversations, find the right words, or stay on topic.
  • Confusion and Disorientation: Getting lost in familiar places, struggling to understand the time of day, or not recognizing where they are.

If you notice any of these changes in a loved one, it’s important to speak with their doctor to get a proper assessment.

Subtle Signs of Dementia in Men

While men experience the core symptoms of dementia, there are additional signs that may be more noticeable or pronounced:

Spatial Disorientation

Men with dementia may exhibit greater difficulty with directions, navigating spaces, or judging distances. This can increase their chance of getting lost, even in familiar places. For example, they might get lost driving to familiar locations or have trouble maneuvering a car they’ve had for years in a parking lot.

Changes in Executive Function

Trouble with planning, problem-solving, or decision-making may become more apparent. They might struggle with tasks that require multiple steps or have difficulty organizing their thoughts, like balancing a checkbook, following a complex recipe, or remembering the rules of a game.

Increased Risk-Taking

Some men with dementia may display uncharacteristically risky behaviors or make impulsive decisions without considering the consequences. This could manifest as poor financial choices or engaging in activities that have a higher potential for injury.

Aggression or Irritability

If your loved one becomes easily frustrated, demonstrates unusual outbursts of anger, or becomes verbally aggressive, this could be a sign of underlying cognitive changes. For example, they may lash out in response to seemingly minor requests or frustrations.

Fixation on Old Hobbies or Work

An intense focus on past routines and tasks or obsessively revisiting old hobbies may be a way for people with dementia to cope with the changes it brings. They might talk excessively about their time in the military or insist on completing work-related projects even after retirement.


Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, feeling unmotivated, and showing less emotional engagement can signal problems beyond sadness. They might stop playing their favorite sport, have little interest in seeing friends, or seem indifferent to events they used to find exciting.

Social Withdrawal

Men with dementia may become less talkative, avoid social interactions, or seem disconnected during conversations. Perhaps they are no longer the life of the party or need help keeping up with the flow of group events.

Sleep Disturbance and Hallucinations

Studies have shown that men are at higher risk for Lewy Body dementia (LBD) than women. Common symptoms of early-stage LBD include vivid dreams, acting out dreams while asleep, experiencing insomnia, seeing things that aren’t really there, and hearing sounds that don’t exist.

Man sitting with a senior woman in the park


Essential Reminders for Families Supporting Men with Dementia

  • Not All Men Will Exhibit All Signs: Every person’s experience with dementia is unique. Some men may show several of these signs, while others may only exhibit a few.
  • The Value of Early Diagnosis: Recognizing subtle changes early on allows for a timely diagnosis and developing a proactive care plan. This can lead to better management of symptoms and a smoother journey for everyone involved.
  • Research is ongoing: Understanding biological differences in those with dementia is a relatively new field of study. While there are promising leads, more extensive research is needed.

It is crucial not to oversimplify or generalize. If you have any concerns about possible dementia, regardless of gender, seeking professional medical evaluation is vital.

Rediscovering Joy and Purpose: Life at The Arbor

The Arbor at Laurel Circle provides more than memory care; it’s a place where individuals living with dementia can thrive. We recognize every person experiences dementia differently, and our compassionate team is dedicated to providing care that respects each resident’s individuality. Here’s what sets The Arbor apart:

Person-Centered Care

Our philosophy, driven by Heartfelt Connections – a Memory Care Program® guides everything we do. We take the time to learn about each resident – their passions, their favorite songs, their life stories. This deep understanding allows us to create meaningful connections and provide care tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

A Vibrant Community

From our lively themed parties and creative, non-alcoholic “paint and sip” nights to relaxing aromatherapy and group conversations, we foster a sense of belonging and enjoyment. Our activity calendar is designed to stimulate the mind, provide opportunities for connection, and spark moments of joy.

Supporting Cherished Memories

Our memory boxes offer a safe space for residents to revisit treasured moments. We encourage them to fill their boxes with photos, meaningful keepsakes, and other reminders of their unique life experiences.

Finding Comfort and Purpose

The Arbor balances the comfort of private suites with the warmth of shared experiences. Whether it’s enjoying a peaceful courtyard outing, listening to live music, or simply sharing smiles with a compassionate caregiver, we help residents find moments of purpose and connection.


Memory Care That Honors Individuality

Understanding the signs of dementia is crucial, but true support goes deeper. At The Arbor at Laurel Circle, memory care isn’t just about managing symptoms; it’s about embracing the whole person.

Our warm, compassionate team crafts a care plan as unique as your loved one’s story. Discover how we champion dignity and joy – contact us online or call 908-504-7490 to schedule a personalized visit to our community.