Is it normal to lose your memory with age?
Or, is it time to see if it’s leading to something else?
“Where are my keys?” “Where did I park?” “Does anyone know where I put my purse?”
These are probably normal phrases to hear at your house. If you’re like most people, you have temporary lapses of memory that cause you to feel like you’re “losing it.” But, for seniors, this can be scary. It might happen more often than it used to. It might be about more and more mundane things that should be rote memory. They can also find themselves accidentally putting themselves in danger. According to Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging, Dr. Gary Small, MD, about 40% of people 65 or older have associated memory impairment (NCBI). About 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 develop dementia, and numbers are even higher in Hispanic and African Americans (Alzheimer’s Association).
The numbers are scary, but how do you know if it’s just memory loss or if they are experiencing something bigger like Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Here are some signs that it might be time to get some help:
- They find themselves getting lost in familiar places or areas they’ve been traversing in for a long time.
- They are not only losing their memory but are also having trouble controlling their mood or temperament.
- They are asking the same questions over and over or repeating themselves.
- They are mixing up or jumbling everyday words.
- Tasks are taking longer, and they find themselves repeating steps or starting over frequently.
- They find themselves putting things where they don’t belong, like putting milk in the bathroom or their wallet in the fridge.
Do these things mean that they definitely have dementia? Not necessarily, but they are good indicators. They should see their medical professional when they start to notice these things.
McGregor PACE has programs to help them stay independent longer and medical professionals that are available to help them deal with their symptoms and work hard to keep them at home. Let us know how we can help, and schedule an appointment to see what McGregor PACE can offer!