Are you worried that your elderly loved one is experiencing dementia-related memory loss? If so, it could be normal age-related memory loss instead. There are ways to tell a difference between these two types of memory loss. The more you learn about memory loss and elderly adults, the better you can help your elderly loved one with their memory loss.
Aging-Related Memory Loss
Everyone loses something from time to time. Everyone forgets something that they should be doing. This happens, even to younger adults. The older someone gets, the more they may pay attention to these lapses in their memory. Some of the things they may notice include forgetting directions, forgetting how to make a recipe, etc. If your elderly loved one experiences other symptoms such as:
- Not being able to complete tasks they have always been able to do
- Forgetting memories from their life that they have always been able to remember
- Losing common sense or the ability to properly judge situations and people
- They should see a doctor. These are not normal age-related memory loss issues.
- If your elderly loved one experiences the following they probably have age-related memory loss:
- Only forgetting where they put something occasionally
- Calling someone by a different person’s name from time to time
- Sometimes forgetting appointments
- Can’t find information on the tip of their tongue
These symptoms aren’t generally something that you need to worry about with your elderly loved one.
Ability to Function
When your elderly loved one’s memory loss starts affecting their ability to do every day tasks or they aren’t able to function as well as they used to, this can be a problem. If this is going on, your elderly loved one could have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you or an elderly care provider notice that your elderly loved one is having difficulties with their judgment, language, memory, or abstract thinking, a doctor’s appointment should be scheduled as soon as possible.
The doctor will be able to schedule the necessary tests to determine whether your elderly loved one has memory loss related to the aging process or if it is, in fact, dementia. Not every case of memory loss is something to worry about.
Normal age-related memory loss does happen. Sometimes it happens earlier in life and other times it doesn’t happen until someone is well into their 70’s or 80’s. However, just because your elderly adult starts experiencing some form or level of memory loss, that does not mean they have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The aging process may just be catching up with them. If you have concerns, you can have them see their doctor.