Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia?
We’ve all had it happen – forgetting a person’s name or not being able to find the right word. Maybe you miss an appointment or misplace the TV remote. Some memory loss is only natural with age, but the question is often asked – is this just normal aging, or is it the beginning of something bigger? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia?
While minor memory loss is common with aging, it is not inevitable. Dementia, on the other hand, is generally a progressive condition originating in a specific disease or neurological disorder. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, while conditions such as Lewy body disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and others can also lead to memory loss.
So when should you be concerned? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia?
Because the human brain is so complex and every person’s physiology is different, diagnosing dementia is not a simple task. Only a doctor can give a proper dementia diagnosis, but there are some definite signs that you may want to visit a medical professional with your concerns:
- You have trouble handling multi-stepped or ongoing tasks.These generally manifest as financial difficulties – overdrafts, forgotten bills and other actions that involve a level of thinking things through. This applies to most kinds of complex planning, including travel or even cooking.
- Forgetfulness interferes with your daily life.Forgetting a name or momentarily misplacing something is a hassle, but these happening more regularly and causing financial or interpersonal difficulties are reasons for concern.
- You can’t seem to find the right words.While we often experience the frustration of having a word “on the tip of my tongue,” an increased frequency of this happening should be a warning sign. This is particularly true if it affects normal ability to communicate.
- You experience problems retracing your steps.When we misplace our keys, phone or remote this is generally resolved by asking “where was I a few minutes/hours ago?” Since dementia often affects the short term memory first, a decline in memory involving recent things should merit a trip to the doctor.
- You lose your sense of place and time.Not knowing where you are, how you got there or what day it is can be serious signs that a medical consultation is necessary.
It’s also important to listen to those closest to you if they voice concerns about forgetfulness or mention that you’ve asked the same question repeatedly.
Can you do anything about it?
While there is currently no cure for most types of dementia, research is showing that certain activities and lifestyle choices can help delay its onset or slow its progression. The Nexus at Silverado program in which residents in Silverado memory care communities participate is based on these findings. For more information on Nexus, click here.
Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia?
Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia? Is it Normal Memory Loss or Dementia?
About the Author
Silverado was founded in 1996 with the goal of enriching the lives of those with memory loss by changing how the world cares for people with cognitive decline. Establishing this mindset as the foundation allows Silverado to operate in a way that provides clients, residents, and patients with utmost dignity, respect and quality of life. Silverado has grown to become a nationally recognized provider of home care, memory care assisted living and hospice services. With 54 locations, the company delivers world-class care in seven states- Arizona, California, Illinois, Texas, Utah, Viginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Learn more at silverado.com or call (866) 522-8125.View All Articles