How to Distinguish Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

Healthy aging seems to be getting more difficult to accomplish each year what with all of the perils and diseases that exist to make it tougher for seniors to live their best lives. Among those many obstacles is dementia. This is insidious disease can rob an elderly adult of his or her memories, friends, loved ones, and even their home because of the changes that can occur in the brain, making it harder to remember even the simplest things.

Names, faces, places, even favorite movies and foods are all foreign to a senior who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other common forms of dementia that can take hold and refuse to let go.

That’s why it’s important for Professional Senior Care Providers to know the difference between normal forgetfulness and an onset of dementia in those elderly adults they are tasked with caring for, because we can all sometimes forget things without being concerned that something more serious is afoot.

Forgetting Once in a While

So, when a senior is having some trouble remembering something, the first thing loved ones worry about is whether that elderly adult is developing Alzheimer’s. But that isn’t always the case as there could be any number of reasons why the memory might not be as sharp as it once was. After all, we all forget something from time to time.

But the difference between dementia and being forgetful comes with remembering what it is they forgot or, at the very least remembers forgetting that thing. Sometimes a little brain hiccup is all it is. But if you notice a distinct pattern of forgetfulness and the elderly individual doesn’t seem to be improving with respect to their memory, there could be an issue that needs to be addressed.

The Warning Signs

That pattern of forgetfulness will continue and the scope of the memory loss will increase. At first, your senior won’t remember the name of someone in a story he or she is trying to tell. But then they are having trouble remembering other names, of close friends, of places they like to shop, possibly the names of loved ones, even their own children and grandchildren. From names, it becomes places they have been, the details of things or events they were once privy to, and even forgetting specific milestones of their lives, like a special birthday or even their own wedding.

Concentrating on things can also be very challenging for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Dementia can make it hard to focus and stay tuned in to one thing at a time. Even simple, everyday tasks that they once did with little to no effort can become seemingly impossible or insurmountable to them.

Confusion is also a big red flag when it comes to the on-set of dementia. The sufferer may have difficulty recognizing where they are or where they are going. They can sometimes lose track of time and not realize that hours have passed.

If a senior is exhibiting any of the above signs, it may be time for an appointment with a medical professional to assess their condition.

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