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Learn the Facts about Memory Loss in the Elderly

Sure, sometimes our aging loved ones forget where they placed their car keys or the remote for the TV, but when does forgetfulness turn into a larger problem? Today, we want to touch on the topic of memory loss and offer signs of what’s normal aging and what isn’t. 

Although memory loss is common as our loved ones begin to age, it’s important to pay close attention to certain signs that may point to dementia and not getting older.

Age-Related Memory Loss

  • Forgetting an occasional appointment
  • Entering a room and forgetting why they entered
  • Forgetting where they left things that they use on a regular basis
  • Forgetting names of friends and family
  • Confusion about the day of the week, but remembering it later
  • Mixing up names of people close to them such as calling a friend by their daughter’s name
  • Occasionally having trouble finding the right word to use

Although minor lapses in memory are considered to be a healthy, normal part of the aging process, there are signs that shouldn’t be ignored. By paying close attention to the lapses in memory of your loved ones, you could potentially recognize the early signs of dementia.

Potential Signs of Dementia

  • Forgetting common words while speaking
  • Taking longer than normal to complete routine tasks like following a recipe
  • Getting lost in a familiar area
  • Repeatedly asking questions
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Misplacing things and not being able to retrace their steps in order to find the missing items

As our family members grow older, they begin to experience changes in their brain function which cause them to take longer to recall information. Although this lapse in memory is common and can be mistaken for true memory loss, it does not necessarily signal Alzheimer’s, although is a good idea to be aware of the signs of dementia.

Paying close attention to the habits of your elderly loved ones is a pro-active way to catch the warning signs of a larger problem like dementia.

Additionally, early detection gives you and your loved one more time to plan for things in the future such as care, transportation, living options, etc.  Furthermore, noticing the potential signs of dementia at an early stage, allows for more time to explore treatment options in an effort to help manage memory loss and possible dementia symptoms.

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St. Barnabas Health System,
call (724) 443-0700.

St. Barnabas Health System
5850 Meridian Road
Gibsonia, PA 15044

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