We all forget things from time to time. We might forget where we put our car keys, someone’s name, or the fact that we had a hair appointment scheduled. When it happens occasionally, we barely give it a second thought. But when we notice that we – or a family member – seems to be forgetting things on a more regular basis, it can be concerning. Is this the beginning of dementia or Alzheimer’s? We may be even more concerned if we have already witnessed other family members go through the disease.

How can you tell the difference between normal memory lapses and when there might be a problem?

Normal age-related memory issues:

Occasional lapses in memory as we age are common and are usually nothing to worry about. These can include things such as:

  • Occasionally forgetting where we put items such as car keys and glasses.
  • Forgetting the name of a person that we do not see on a regular basis.
  • Accidently missing an appointment.
  • Sometimes forgetting what we just read because we were distracted.
  • Occasionally having trouble retrieving information that was on the tip of the tongue.
  • Walking into a room and forgetting why we went in there.

Dementia-related memory loss:

Dementia-related memory loss is more likely to have a negative impact on how we or a loved one go through our daily routine. Dementia-related memory loss can include things like:

  • Difficulty remembering how to perform routine tasks such as paying bills, or how to operate the television.
  • Difficulty remembering important details.
  • Becoming disoriented in places that you are familiar with.
  • Frequently repeating stories within the same conversation.
  • Mumbling, forgetting, or misusing words frequently.
  • Showing poor judgement or acting inappropriately when you need to make a decision.

If you observe possible early signs of dementia in yourself or a loved one, it is important to consult with your doctor. With early testing and treatment, it may be possible to slow the progression of dementia. Many people with early and middle-stage dementia are still able to enjoy their hobbies and activities for several years.

If you or a loved one is experiencing the early signs of dementia, home care can help extend independence and improve quality of life.

Contact VERA Home Care if you need more information or for a free consultation.