How many times have you locked your front door on the way out only to find you’ve left your purse or wallet and car keys on the kitchen table? We all have ‘senior moments’ at times, and it’s an unfortunate aspect of life’s journey that the older we become, the more forgetful we get.
Just as our physical bodies slow down with age, our mental faculties decide to decline as we get older as well. However, when it comes to people over the age of fifty or so, ‘forgetfulness’ could be a sign of the onset of a more serious condition – dementia.
Dementia is actually a disease, rather than the simple slowing-down of our mental abilities. There are several types of dementia, as the brain is a large and complex organ and can fall prey to disease in many different areas. Dementia is signified by memory loss, personality change, loss of problem-solving abilities and the inability to retain focus. It results in a slow deterioration that can eventually lead to a sufferer being entirely reliant on others in order to function.
The signs of dementia are often mistaken for age-related memory loss, so the crucial aspect in determining whether someone is suffering from dementia or not is understanding what is happening to a person’s mental abilities.
Age-related memory loss is usually associated with ‘simple’ moments of forgetfulness, such as misplacing glasses, keys or remote controls. Elderly people are also easily distracted; they will temporarily mix up the names of their friends and family members, and they can forget to attend appointments that were made some time ago.
The signs of dementia are usually much more severe than simple forgetfulness. People showing signs of dementia can become confused about what time of day it is, where they are, or why they are at their current location. They can make poor judgement errors, such as getting on a bus simply because it is ‘there’ and with no idea where it is going. Simple tasks such as making a cup of coffee or using a toaster suddenly become impossible to complete and are often abandoned or forgotten about.
Although there is as yet no cure for dementia, the life of a person with dementia can be made easier with the proper supervision and care. That’s why the early diagnosis of dementia is so important, as is distinguishing it from age-related memory loss.
For more information on our Aiken memory care facility contact us today by emailing or calling 803-502-5599.