Normal Forgetfulness vs. Dementia — What’s the Difference?

Normal Forgetfulness vs. Dementia — What’s the Difference?

Ever headed into the kitchen to get something – then forgotten what you were looking for? This is a common type of memory loss that occurs as we age and could be related to both age and hormones. Some residents of elder care facilities have true memory issues, others are simply experiencing normal effects of aging. 

How can you tell that minor lapses in memory are simple, harmless effects of aging – or something more worrisome? Learning about the differences between normal memory loss and the early stages of dementia will help you get an idea of what is going on and allow you to seek help for yourself or a loved one when needed.

Normal Memory Changes vs. Dementia

  • Paying a bill late or misplacing your checkbook is likely a sign of normal aging, but forgetting to pay bills at all – resulting in significant problems – could be a sign of a deeper problem.
  • Not remembering the day or date for a second when you need to add it to a document s not a big deal, but routinely forgetting the time of year, major events and related issues should trigger further investigation.
  • Struggling to find a word during normal conversation is normal; having difficulty following a social conversation or interaction is a cause for concern.
  • Not recognizing family members including children, grandchildren and siblings is a cause for alarm, struggling momentarily to recall someone’s name is generally not. An assisted living resident who routinely fails to recognize loved ones could be struggling with memory issues.

The opinion of others can also shed light onto your potential memory concerns. If a simple memory error is mildly humorous and not a big deal, you don’t need to worry. If your loved ones are getting increasingly concerned or tell you they are repeatedly answering the same questions, you should seek out additional help. 

Help is available if you have concerns about yourself or a loved one; recognizing memory issues can help ensure your loved one gets the proper level of support and care at a Redlands care home. Memory issues can be scary, but thankfully, many are simply side effects of medication, lack of sleep or aging. Seeing your doctor is an ideal first step in discovering which you are experiencing.  

Learn more about coping with memory loss and discover what an assisted living facility could do for you or a loved one. Get in touch today to learn more about your care home options and to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is in good hands.