Is it Forgetfulness or Something More?

Memory_lossRecently an out of town visitor stopped into one of our communities after visiting with her 72 year old mother who lives in the neighborhood. She hadn’t seen her mother in six months and was panicked when her mother didn’t recognize her. Thinking her mother might need to have her eyes checked, she asked if she could see certain things around the home. When she discovered her mom was disoriented as well, she wondered if this could be something more, like Alzheimer’s disease.

If this sounds like your situation, we recommend making an appointment with your loved one’s primary physician for some testing. Memory loss could be a symptom of many other illnesses including dehydration, urinary tract infections, stroke, mismanaged medications, stress, depression, or a B-12 deficiency. It is important to rule out causes behind the cognitive change. It could be hard to know the difference between normal forgetfulness and signs of dementia. The following signs are indicators that perhaps it is not forgetfulness and should seek a cause from a physician.

  • Repeating stories
  • Asking the same question in a short amount of time
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Wearing the same clothing several days in a row
  • House cleaning standards have changed
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Trouble concentrating or solving a once simple problem
  • Reminder notes plastered in numerous places
  • Confusion with time and/or place
  • Problems finding the right words
  • Poor judgment

Living in an independent living, assisted, or memory care community offers support in a friendly, compassionate, loving environment. Community staff is available 24 hours a day to help with friendly reminders, managing medications, assistance with dressing and bathing, proper nutrition and activities to nurture the mind, body and soul. Contact Hearthstone of Beaverton or Hearthstone at Murrayhill for more information on how we can help you and your family.