Many of us worry about losing our memory as we grow older. But we want you to know that forgetfulness does not necessarily mean Alzheimer’s. In fact, some memory loss is very common as we age.
We walk into a room only to forget why we were there. Or we can’t remember what we ate for lunch. Don’t worry! Our bodies grow weaker as we age – our hearing, eyesight, muscles, and bones.
Guess what? Our brains experience these changes as well.
So, if a loved one is dealing with forgetfulness, how can you tell if it is simply age-related memory loss or the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
As a provider of senior care in Tennessee, we want you to understand these differences.
- Forgetting Things
As we grow older, most of us forget people’s names or where we put our keys. But we usually remember later, and we can even laugh at our forgetfulness.
Those with Alzheimer’s forget the names of family and close friends. They may misplace items in unusual locations, like putting their keys in the freezer or hanging their purse in the shower. They may become confused and not know what year it is or what street they are on.
We all make mistakes. Maybe we forget to preheat the oven, or make an error when balancing the bank account, or forget to grab a coat when it’s cold outside. But we realize and correct these mistakes.
On the other hand, someone one with Alzheimer’s often uses poor judgment but doesn’t recognize it. They may repeatedly leave appliances running or get confused by what the bank numbers mean or dress in pajamas to go out.
- Language Struggles
Sometimes our aging brains can struggle to find the word we’re looking for.
A person with dementia has frequent problems finding words. They may even substitute with unusual words and phrases, or refer to objects as ‘that thing.’
- Personality Changes
As we age, our personalities and attitudes toward obligations can gradually change. We may only enjoy short visits with grandchildren because we enjoy the quiet. Or the winter months may make us feel gloomier than we used to.
However, a person with Alzheimer’s may experience extreme personality changes over a short time. They can be irritable for no reason. There can be sudden mood changes, unexplained anger, or crying.
These memory issues can have many causes, like grief, emotional disorders, infections, or medication side effects. It is important to know for sure. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult a physician.
At any point, if you need help caring for your loved one with memory problems, we are here to lend a hand. We encourage you to make an appointment with our caregiver in Tennessee.