Is It Just Forgetfulness or Something More Serious?
Getting older can sometimes make remembering more difficult. As you care for your aging loved one, you might have begun to pick up on some things that he’s been struggling to remember lately. Maybe you’ve even noticed that it’s happening more frequently, and it’s starting to cause a bit of concern for you.
Before you decide if a doctor visit is in order, you can look at what is “normal” forgetfulness as a person ages, and what is cause for concern. Here are some examples.
Normal Aging: Making a bad decision once in a while
Everyone makes bad choices occasionally. It can be due to a lack of good information on the topic, refusal to ask for expert advice, or impulsiveness. So, if your loved one suddenly decides he doesn’t need the care of a home care assistance team, he might just be making a poor choice that can be discussed and reversed if needed.
Dementia: Making poor judgments and decisions frequently
If you’re finding your loved one consistently makes poor choices, such as what to wear when it’s cold, or purchasing items that have no value in his life, it might be more serious.
Normal Aging: Losing things from time to time.
Everyone misplaces something occasionally. If you can solve the problem by having your loved one always place his most common misplaced items in a consistent area, it might just be normal aging.
Dementia: Misplacing things consistently and not knowing how to find them
If your loved one continually loses his phone or can’t remember where he parked the car at the grocery store, he might need to be evaluated. In the meantime, having a home care assistance provider travel with him to do the shopping can help him remember how to get places and find the car.
Normal Aging: Sometimes unable to remember the right word
If your loved one gets stuck on remembering a word or two while talking, that’s okay. If he has a new home care assistance provider and has only met her once before, forgetting her name is normal, and a gentle reminder is all he needs.
Dementia: Consistently struggling to have a conversation
If you find your loved one can’t stay on a topic or struggles with so many words that he just gives up trying to communicate what he needs, he might be developing dementia.
Normal Aging: Forgetting someone he met last year
If it’s been a while since your loved one was introduced to someone, and he has forgotten that person’s name, and even isn’t sure if he met them, that is normal.
Dementia: Forgetting someone he met yesterday or knew for a long time
If your loved one forgets who the home care assistance person is or why they are visiting, it’s a telling sign that his memory loss may be serious and needs to be reviewed by a doctor.
Memory loss can shift from normal aging into dementia, but doesn’t have to. Being aware of what and how often your loved one forgets things will help you know where he’s at.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Assistance in Alabaster, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
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