What Is the difference between forgetfulness and dementia?

As our parent’s age, we may start to notice a change in their memory. Maybe it begins with forgetting why they walked into a room or where they put their keys. As time goes on, it may progress to forgetting birthdays and other special dates.

As frustrating as it may be to repeat the same story to your loved one, it may be something that can’t be helped.

At what point do you start to worry that it is more than just age-related memory loss? Where do you go for help?

Signs that may indicate your loved one may need memory care:

  • Difficulty carrying on a conversation: You find yourself repeating the same thing every five minutes, or you notice that your loved one is not tracking what you are saying.

  • Neglecting personal hygiene: You may notice that your loved one has an odor from not showering or not using the bathroom properly. Hair and teeth appear not to have been brushed for days at a time. Wears clothing inappropriately (seasonal, dirty, opposite of normal appearance.

  • Behavior Changes: Sudden loss of initiative/apathy; easily agitated; hallucinations; sleeplessness; mood swings.

  • Forgetting names of people close to them: Forgetting a spouse, children, or pets that are often in the home.

  • Lost in familiar surroundings: Walking out the door and forgetting where they live. Driving a usual route and gets lost.

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