Have you ever been stumped by a math equation, or even a riddle? You spend hours staring at the problem or mulling over the solution to no avail. Exhausted and frustrated, you throw your hands in the air and give in to a break. And after stepping outside for some fresh air and a walk around the block, or making and eating a home-cooked meal, you sit back down and solve your problem within minutes.
Sometimes, when you’re too involved in a situation, you have to take a massive step back—only then does the solution appear to you, clear as day. The first signs of dementia can operate in this manner; it’s often the people closest to a dementia patient (e.g., their partner, children, or best friend) that fail to catch the first signs of cognitive decline.