How to Know When to See a Doctor for Memory Loss
Observing forgetfulness in your aging relative can be concerning. You may wonder if what they are experiencing is normal age-related memory loss or if there’s something worse going on.
A little bit of memory loss, those “senior moments,” are completely normal. Lots of older adults do things like forget where they left their keys or forget where they parked the car.
Some other normal signs of age-related memory loss include:
- Occasionally making a bad decision.
- Forgetting to pay a bill.
- Temporarily forgetting what day it is.
- Forgetting a word.
- Misplacing items once in a while.
These kinds of memory problems don’t indicate any need for the senior or their family caregivers to worry. They can be troublesome, but there are ways to deal with them, such as:
Using technology-based reminders.
Carrying a pocket calendar to write down appointments.
Jotting down important information.
Using apps that track where the car is parked.
- Sometimes memory loss is more serious than the occasional slip. Some signs that your aging relative’s memory problems may indicate dementia are:
- Using poor judgment often.
- Difficulty taking care of finances.
- Not knowing what year or time of the year it is.
- Difficulty carrying on a conversation.
- Misplacing items and not being able to find them.
- Forgetting about an experience they’ve had.
- No longer remembering how to read a clock.
- Completely forgetting a person.
Although the above signs are indicators of dementia, there are also things that can cause temporary memory loss. Often, when the underlying problem is treated, the memory loss is reversible. Some temporary causes of memory loss are:
- Certain medicines.
- A head injury.
- Stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Chronic alcohol abuse.
- Lack of vitamin B12.
- Brain tumors.
- Infection in the brain.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic say that the time to see the doctor about your aging relative’s memory loss is when they worry you. The doctor can conduct tests to determine how bad the memory loss is and try to determine the cause.
If your family member is diagnosed with dementia, involving home care early on can make living with the condition easier. During the early stages, the older adult may need home care for only a few hours each week to help with things like paying bills and doing complex household tasks. As the disease progresses, you can increase the amount of time home care spends with the senior, ensuring they are safe and comfortable when you cannot be there.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Kennewick, WA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Solutions today. We serve the Tri-Cities and Surrounding Areas. Call 509-627-8575