Normal Aging vs. Dementia

As a loved one gets older we may notice some signs of forgetfulness. How can we tell if we should be concerned? Are they getting dementia? It’s important to know that there are changes in cognitive ability that occur normally as someone ages. Occasionally forgetting a name or appointment is normal. Sometimes forgetting what day of the week it is or why you came into a room is okay. Temporarily losing your keys or feeling you just don’t want to go to a social engagement now and then is normal too. These are all things that can happen as your loved one ages. Typically, these types of occurrences will be of some concern to the normally aging senior. It’s time to start paying attention to these lapses in memory if they become much more frequent and prevent your loved one from living independently. You and other family members may start noticing that something is wrong while your loved one may not be able to see it at all. If you suspect dementia, there are clues to look for:

*Does your loved one get lost frequently?
*Are there language problems such as referring to things with unusual or abnormal names?
*Is your loved one having difficulty with everyday tasks like following a recipe or making a phone call?
*Are things being misplaced in unusual places?
*Is your loved one more apathetic now? Watching a lot of TV? Avoiding social engagements?
*Are there changes in hygiene for the worse?
*Have you noticed any unusual changes in personality like bursts of anger for no apparent reason?
*Does you loved one forget what happened yesterday but can remember in vivid detail things that happened many years ago?
*Is there evidence of grossly bad judgments like dressing inappropriately for the weather or giving large sums of money to telemarketers?
* Is your loved one unable to use a tool or appliance they’ve owned and used for many years?

If you’ve noticed any of these signs or have other concerns about your loved one’s forgetfulness, it’s time to have an honest and open talk with the doctor. It’s important to do this early on so symptoms can be monitored and treatment options can be considered. Have you noticed other early signs of dementia in your loved one? How did you handle it? Share below and visit us at


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Filed under Alzheimer's, companionship, Health care services, Home Care, Personal care, Senior Care, Trillium HomeCare, Uncategorized

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