Forgetting things occasionally is a part of life. It's why individuals may have alerts on their smartphones or notes on their refrigerators. As people get older they might experience more frequent instances of forgetfulness, however this is often nothing to be concerned about. So how can seniors tell if they're experiencing the signs of dementia and when it's time to tell a doctor? Here are some pointers on hot to distinguish typical forgetfulness from dementia.
Typical age-related signs:
Transience and absentmindedness
Harvard Medical School stated that these two conditions are a regular part of the aging process. Transience is when the brain forgets some memories over time. According to the school, this could in fact be a good thing, due to the fact that it implies the brain is removing unused memories to include new ones. Absentmindedness is similar because it associates with your brain's focus. For example, forgetting an appointment might occur merely due to the fact that you weren't preoccupied with the idea of it.
Lapse of memory and other mental issues
According to the National Institute on Aging, there are lots of other health conditions that could contribute to memory loss. For instance, people with anxiety are often mistaken for having the symptoms of dementia. One reason for this might be that a person handling anxiety may be very preoccupied with the reason for their unhappiness and stress and anxiety. Constantly stressing over or obsessing over a current problem can result in lapse of memory of other subjects.
Possible indications of dementia:
Unlike typical age-related lapse of memory, amnesia connected to dementia is progressive, according to Dr. William W. Pendlebury, a teacher at the University of Vermont. These issues get progressively worse and the client ultimately needs to relocate to nursing home due to the fact that he can no longer reside on his own.
Forgetting important details
The symptoms of dementia go beyond merely forgetting where an object was positioned or when a visit was arranged. Pendlebury even more stated that symptoms consist of forgetting names of friends and loved ones and an inability to keep in mind some words. When an older adult shows these indications of severe lapse of memory, it's time to consider scheduling a visit the physician.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, individuals with dementia may experience significant changes in personality. For example, a senior experiencing dementia might suddenly be more prone to aggressive habits, paranoia or impulsiveness. Typically, this is the hardest part of the disease for caretakers to handle. The association stated that it is regular for senior caregivers to feel stressed out by these signs. As such, it could be smart to consider utilizing respite care services if it ends up being overwhelming.
Another typical symptom of dementia is the tendency to become disoriented in new environments. The University of Illinois said that this disorientation extends to both place and time. If an older adult with dementia relocate to a new place, the unknown stimuli might cause a feeling of insecurity. When disoriented, seniors with dementia may appear lost to onlookers and become quickly aggravated with their caregivers.
Age-related memory loss and dementia are extremely different conditions, though they might share some overlap in signs. However, normal lapse of memory is frequently brought on by absence of focus and it never advances into serious area. Dementia, on the other hand, will become worse over time. If you doubt about your signs, arrange a visit with your physician.
Ty Strahl is the Spokane areas leading Certified Senior Advisor (CSA). Her job is to help navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.