Some individuals become concerned when they start forgetting things more frequently and may conclude that they are suffering from a memory-related condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, it is important to note that not everyone dealing with memory issues has the conditions mentioned. So, how can you tell if age-related memory loss is normal or serious?
Is the Memory Loss Normal?
Occasional lapses in short-term memory can be a very normal part of the aging process as many changes are taking place physiologically and in the brain. As a result, aging can be the cause of someone taking longer than usual to learn new things. Older individuals generally don’t retain information as well as they used to and may start noticing that they are losing things more often – where they last put their glasses, car keys, handphone, doctor’s appointments, and even names of acquaintances. These are classified under mild forgetfulness, and not a warning sign of a memory-related condition like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Is the Memory Loss Normal?
The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former is not disabling. Sure, it can get frustrating when you’re late to an event because you can’t remember where you put your car keys or when you meet a familiar face in public but can’t put a name on them. At the end of the day, its impact on one’s daily performance is not severe. Dementia, on the other hand, is marked by a disabling decline that is persistent and that affects intellectual abilities – abstract thinking, judgment, language, and memory. When memory loss becomes pervasive in one’s life, the affected individual is not able to carry out their usual daily activities like their hobbies and work. They also are not able to maintain family relationships and social activities.
Symptoms that May Indicate Dementia
Is the memory loss normal? Here are a few warning signs that may indicate your loved one is suffering from dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia:
- Getting lost even in familiar places
- Showing poor judgment in behavior and making dangerous choices
- Phrases and sentences being repeated frequently in the same conversation
- Difficulty performing simple tasks like washing up or getting dressed properly
If you are worried that your loved one may be experiencing a more severe form of memory loss, it is best to consult a doctor for treatment. A couple of questions you can expect at your visit to the doctor’s include:
- Are you having trouble performing ordinary day-to-day tasks?
- What kinds of things do you have difficulty remembering?
- Did the memory loss come on gradually or suddenly?
- How long have you or others noticed a problem with your memory?
Why Choose SummerHouse Grayson Valley?
Understanding the signs of serious memory loss in your loved one may help you identify the condition sooner, so your loved one can get the treatment they need earlier. At SummerHouse Grayson Valley, our SHINE® Memory Care program is one of the very few programs in the nation which has received a national Certificate of Recognition from the Alzheimer’s Association.