While forgetfulness is a common part of aging for many people, dementia is a progressive memory disorder that can make it challenging to complete daily personal care tasks and live independently. If you’re wondering whether your loved one is coping with simple age-related memory loss or more serious dementia, this handy guide by The Ganzhorn Suites can help.
Symptoms of Normal Forgetfulness
While the signs of typical age-related forgetfulness can lead to frustration, they are non-life threatening and do not normally prevent a person from living independently. Seniors with forgetfulness may demonstrate symptoms such as:
- Absentmindedness: Absentmindedness often occurs when seniors have to juggle multiple things at once and forget something because they are preoccupied or not focused on it. For example, an older adult may forget about their doctor’s appointment because they are folding laundry or talking on the phone.
- Transience: When seniors forget something because they haven’t done it or thought about it in a while, they experience transience which is known as a “use it or lose it” memory feature.
- Depression: Older adults who are depressed are usually focused on the cause of their sadness and become forgetful as a result.
Symptoms of Dementia
Memory loss associated with dementia is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. Common dementia symptoms include:
- Personality Changes: Seniors with dementia will likely show drastic personality changes. They may become more aggressive and paranoid and make impulse decisions that do not make sense. Friends and family who notice these major personality changes may feel stressed out and overwhelmed because they no longer recognize their loved one.
- Disorientation: Dementia patients typically feel disoriented, unsecure, or uncertain when they are in new environments outside of their home. They may not know where they are, who they are, the date, or the time.
- Failing to Remember Important Information: Seniors with normal age-related forgetfulness may forget when they have to go to the eye doctor or where they stored their car keys. However, those with dementia fail to remember more important information such as the names of loved ones and how to say certain words.
Although dementia and age-related memory loss may seem similar, they are different conditions that require different types of care and intervention. If you suspect that your loved is coping with more than simple forgetfulness, consult a physician as soon as possible. In the event of a dementia diagnosis, , contact The Ganzhorn Suites to find out how our specialized memory care center can help your loved one. To learn more about our care and services, contact our Community Relations Director at 614-356-9810 or via email at CRD.Powell@ganzhorn.com.