Eldercare Series: Is it Normal Aging or is it Dementia?

As a person ages, many things change. They may not see as well as they once did, they may become hard of hearing, and they may not remember things as easily as they did before. As a busy member of the sandwich generation, juggling kiddos and aging parents, you may be concerned about your loved one’s memory problems.

Is it just normal aging? Is it something bigger like dementia or Alzheimer’s? Here are a few examples of normal memory problems associated with aging, and some warning signs that you may need to have your elder evaluated by their physician.

Here are some of the normal memory issues that you may notice in your elder:

  • They don’t remember every little detail of every conversation.
  • They may occasionally forget a friend’s name.
  • They may have trouble coming up with the right words.
  • They also notice that their memory is not what it used to be.

These can be red flags when it comes to elder aging and memory:

  • They forget having entire conversations.
  • They forget the names of close family members.
  • Instead of forgetting the right word, they use incorrect words when they’re speaking.
  • They don’t realize that they are having memory problems.

If you suspect your elder’s memory problems may be more than what is typically associated with aging, schedule an appointment and talk with their physician. While it could be something big, like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it could also be something as simple as their medications causing their forgetfulness.

Also, be sure to check out our post on Simple Games to Improve Elder Memory for three fun games that may help sharpen your loved one’s memory. These are family friendly games that you can play with both the kiddos, and your senior.

Does your elder suffer from memory problems? What do you do to help sharpen their memory? If you have a tips or thoughts, be sure to leave them below! We LOVE comments, and your story could help others!

Photo courtesy of Neil Moralee on Flickr.

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