The Differences between Dementia and Age-Related Forgetfulness
We’ve all forgotten to reply to a text, misplaced the car keys, and drawn a blank at the grocery store after leaving the shopping list at home. But there is a point when forgetfulness becomes a concern, especially in senior adults.
Many people can have difficulty recalling someone’s name, at times. A better example of dementia is when a person doesn’t recognize a previously well-known person, doesn’t know the season or day, or has difficulty recalling new information.
Your brain changes as you age. That’s unavoidable.
But experiencing significant memory problems is not a typical sign of growing older. The line between age-related forgetfulness and dementia may seem thin, but there are some signs and symptoms that can help you differentiate between the two.
Examples of age-related forgetfulness
If you are concerned about your aging parent and believe forgetfulness may be devolving into dementia, it is important to have a better understanding of the differences.
- The following examples are common and may be associated with dementia:
- Accidentally mixing up family members’ names, or calling an acquaintance by the incorrect name
- Becoming easily distracted while deep in conversation or reading
- Forgetting to attend scheduled appointments
- Repeatedly misplacing everyday items such as glasses, car keys and the remote control
Signs and symptoms that could signify dementia
While chronic forgetfulness is the most common symptom associated with dementia, it is certainly not the only sign – or determining factor – of the disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the symptoms of dementia go well beyond forgetfulness and can vary. Your senior loved one may experience difficulty reasoning, focusing, communicating, and more.
Examples may include:
Change in personality – If your parent seems more suspicious, anxious, depressed or fearful than usual, it may be a sign of dementia.
Feeling confused about time or location – When your parent loses track of time and becomes mixed up about where he or she is, in familiar places like the grocery store or at the park.
Inability to engage in conversation – Dementia may cause your parent to have trouble engaging in written or spoken communication.
Failure to solve problems – Working with numbers, like finalizing an agenda and taking care of monthly bills, becomes more challenging.
Difficulty completing everyday tasks – Tasks that used to come easily – such as driving, playing a game, or working with tools – now seem impossible to achieve.
Poor judgment – Failure to exercise common sense, such as walking out on a cold, snowy day without a jacket.
If you are concerned about your parent’s well-being, schedule an appointment with the doctor. He or she will give you a better understanding of what your loved one is going through and how to move forward.
The Staff at Hearthstone Senior Living are Here To Help You and Your Loved Ones
Living in an independent living community, an assisted living community, or a 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. Schedule a tour by calling Hearthstone of Beaverton at 503-641-0911 or by visiting us at:
12520 SW Hart Road
Beaverton, OR 97008
Or calling Hearthstone at Murrayhill at 503-520-0911 or stopping by at:
10880 SW Davies Rd
Beaverton, OR 97008