08 Mar How to Tell if A Senior’s Forgetfulness Is Dementia
“I just had my glasses on a moment ago…where could they have gone?”
“Is today Tuesday, or Friday?”
“Have I taken my medications yet this morning?”
For older adults, questions like these can arise on a daily basis, and can raise concerns with family members about whether such memory lapses are simply part of growing older, or if they could indicate a more serious concern – such as the beginning stages of dementia.
It’s important to be sure to mention any potential issues or problems to your senior loved one’s doctor to determine if testing or treatment is needed. It’s also helpful to understand the guidelines shared by the Alzheimer’s Association that shed light on the differences between normal aspects of aging and dementia. At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, it’s our goal to empower families with the information they need to better care for their senior loved ones, and to that end, we’ve provided a simple outline of dementia vs. normal aging below:
Signs of Normal Aging:
- Missing a scheduled appointment, forgetting a person’s name or what day it is from time to time, but eventually remembering.
- Difficulty with a new or unfamiliar task, or occasionally making a mathematical error when budgeting or balancing a checkbook.
- Infrequently making a poor decision.
- Sometimes feeling as though you’d like to be left alone or decline joining in on a fun outing.
- Sporadically having difficulty finding the right word you want to use during a conversation.
- Experiencing feelings of agitation at times when a normal routine is interrupted.
Potential Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Noticeable and disruptive memory loss, such as not knowing what season it is, and requiring alternate memory-jogging measures, such as the need for frequent reminder notes or assistance from a family member to remember important aspects of daily life.
- Difficulty with activities of daily living due to confusion, such as the inability to follow a recipe, pay bills, or navigate to familiar locations.
- Habitually bad decision-making and judgment, such as neglecting hygiene needs or making large, spur-of-the-moment purchases.
- Disassociating from friends and family, avoiding social activities and previously-enjoyed hobbies and pastimes.
- Problems with speaking and writing that can include unusual substitutions for forgotten words (such as “mouth wand” for “toothbrush”), and forgetting mid-sentence what was being discussed.
- Frustration, annoyance, anxiety, confusion, and paranoia that occur on an increasingly frequent basis, particularly in a setting that is outside of the normal routine.
If a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease is given by the senior’s physician, the best way to assist your loved one is by partnering with a highly skilled, compassionate care provider with specialized training and experience in dementia, such as Senior HomeCare of Tucson.
We provide the trusted, award-winning, in home elder care Tucson seniors deserve, with a unique, individualized approach to care for those experiencing the challenges of dementia. Call us at 520-355-4787 to learn more about how we can help your senior loved one maximize safety and quality of life with our professional in home elder care services in Tucson and the surrounding area.