Memory Loss or Senior Moment?

Memory Loss or Senior Moment?

When Your Loved One is Increasingly Forgetful: Is It Memory Loss or Just a Senior Moment?

As we become increasingly aware of different forms of dementia, e.g. Alzheimer’s, it can be very worrying when our loved ones start to forget things. However, some forms of memory loss are more common the older you get, and aren’t necessarily an indicator that it’s something more sinister. Therefore, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, so you can be aware of the changes in your loved one and when you might need to seek help. Memory Loss or Senior Moment?
Memory loss is one of the most common forms of dementia, but there are also other symptoms to look out for. We take a look at these below so you know when you might need to call a doctor or look for help with your loved one’s care (e.g. specialist homes like Memory Loss or Senior Moment?
Their Daily Life is Being Disrupted by Memory Loss
One of the first warning signs of dementia is memory loss, especially when they’re forgetting new pieces of information. It may also include forgetting important events or dates, asking about the same thing repeatedly and becoming increasingly reliant on memory aids or family members for things they used to be able to carry out themselves. Memory Loss or Senior Moment?
However, a typical age-related change is if they sometimes forget appointments or names, but they do remember them after a short while.
They’re Struggling to Solve Problems or Plan Things
Sometimes, dementia sufferers will start to struggle when they’re trying to follow a plan or they’re working with numbers. For example, they may struggle to keep on top of their monthly bills or following a recipe. You may also find they have difficulty concentrating, taking a lot longer to do something they might have done with ease before.
However, a typical age-related change is if they make the odd error when they’re following a plan or balancing their checkbook.
They’re Finding it Difficult to Do Familiar Tasks
People with dementia often start to struggle to carry out daily tasks they’re familiar with. For example, they may struggle to manage a budget, may have difficult driving to a well-known location or they may forget the rules of their favorite game.
However, a typical age-related change is occasionally needing assistance recording their favorite TV show or using the settings on their microwave.
They’re Getting Confused with Places or Times
You may find your loved one starts to lose track of time, seasons and dates. They may also show signs of being unable to understand something if it isn’t happening straight away. Sometimes, they may forget how they got somewhere or where they are. Memory Loss or Senior Moment?
However, a typical age-related change is when they forget the day of the week but remember it a bit later.
They’re Unable to Understand Spatial Relationships or Visual Images
For some, Alzheimer’s can affect their vision. For example, they may have difficulty determining contrast or color, juggling distances or reading, which may cause problems when they’re driving.
However, a typical age-related change is vision problems that are related to their eyes deteriorating or other issues, e.g. cataracts.
They’re Showings Signs of New Problems with Writing or Speaking
People with dementia may struggle to join in with conversations, repeating themselves or stopping what they’re saying in the middle of a conversation because they’ve forgotten what they’re talking about. They may also struggle to find the right word to describe something or call things the wrong name (e.g. using “hand-clock” to describe a watch).
However, a typical age-related change is when they, on occasion, struggle to find the right word to describe something.
They’re Misplacing Things and Forget Where They’ve Been
When someone’s suffering from dementia they may put items in unusual places. This may lead to them losing things and them being unable to retrace their steps to find them. Sometimes, this may lead to them accusing others of stealing their things, which may increase in frequency as their dementia worsens.
However, a typical age-related change is when they lose things from time to time and can’t remember where they put them.
They’re Judgement has Decreased or has Become Poor
People with Alzheimer’s may change in how they make decisions or judgments. For example, when they’re dealing with money they may make poor judgments, giving large amounts to people they shouldn’t, e.g. cold callers. They may also spend less time keeping themselves clean.
However, a typical age-related change is when they make a bad decision every now and again.
These are just some of the early warning signs that your loved one could be suffering from a form of dementia. If you recognize any of these symptoms in them or you’re concerned, you should consult a doctor or health professional immediately.
By Oscar Hamilton
Oscar Hamilton works at a GP surgery and is always going the extra mile to help patients, which he is now extending to an online audience with his useful and informative articles. Memory Loss or Senior Moment?

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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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