Age-Related Memory Loss and Dementia: How to Distinguish Between Them
Memory loss is a common disorder for many of us as we age but mostly they aren't reasons for worry. However, there is a stage when forgetfulness is more disturbing, especially in older adults.
If you're worried about your elderly parent and believe memory loss may be escalating to dementia, it's essential to have a proper understanding between the two. Alzheimer's and dementia care homes offer a safe and relaxing environment for people with various types of dementia.
Normal, Age-Related Memory Loss
The following types of memory losses are normal among seniors and usually not regarded as warning symptoms of dementia:
- Misplacing items of everyday use like glasses, car keys and the remote control.
- Getting easily distracted while reading or midway a deep conversation.
- Frequently forgetting to show up at recently scheduled appointments
- Unintentionally mixing up names of family members
Memory Loss and Dementia
Dementia is a broad term for any disorder that produces a change in memory and/or cognitive skills that are serious enough to disrupt a person's daily functioning. There are diverse types of dementia, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common among them.
While some minor changes in cognition are believed to be a part of the regular aging process, dementia is not. The symptoms of dementia may vary from person to person and may include:
- Repeating the same questions continuously
- Getting lost in known places
- Unable to adhere to instructions
- Getting perplexed about time, people, and places
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional stage between typical age-related cognitive deviations and the more severe signs that indicate dementia. However, in contrast to people with total dementia, you are still capable of performing regular functions without depending on others.
Symptoms of MCI include:
- Repeatedly losing or misplacing things
- Regularly forgetting dialogues, appointments, or events
- Trouble recalling the names of new acquaintances
- Difficulty following the course of a conversation
Normal, Age-Related Memory Loss Vs. Dementia
The key dissimilarity between age-related forgetfulness and dementia is that the former isn't immobilizing. The memory gaps have little effect on your daily routine and knack to do what you desire. Dementia, on the contrary, is marked by a continual, disabling deterioration in two or more cognitive abilities including memory, language, judgment, and abstract feeling.
When to See a Doctor for Memory Loss
When memory loss transforms into excessively prevalent and critical that it disturbs your routine work, hobbies, social interactions, and family relations, you may be suffering from the warning symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or another illness that causes dementia, or a disorder that mimics dementia.
It's time to visit a doctor who can evaluate your risk aspects, symptoms, eradicate revocable causes of memory loss, and assist you with getting appropriate care. You should also explore elderly dementia care options to seek professional Alzheimer's and dementia care services for a senior loved one.
Newport Home Care provides 24-hour dementia care in Orange County for people suffering from all kinds of dementia. To schedule a free in-home evaluation, call us today at (949) 514-8303 or fill out our online form and we'll get back to you soon!
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