Slight changes in cognition that affect memory are a common part of the aging process. Elderly individuals are prone to forgetting where they’ve placed their car keys or their reading glasses. They might temporarily forget the name of a new friend or they may find it harder to retain new information. Although changes like these can seem significant to both the aging adult who experiences them and his or her family members, they are not likely to have any major impact on independent functioning or individual life qualities.
Memory Loss That Affects Independent Functioning
When memory loss or the decline in cognitive functioning appears to be progressive, this is cause for concern. Losing track of time, forgetting the names of close friends and relatives, or lacking a sense of orientation could be signs of age-related dementia or another serious disorder that requires professional Scottsdale dementia care. Moderate to severe memory loss is often accompanied by a number of distinct behavioral changes such as suspicion, frustration, outbursts of anger, or lack of judgment.
Changes in Language or Communication
Extreme changes in cognitive functioning usually occur in conjunction with noticeable changes in a person’s language. This is a bit different from being unable to recall a specific word or idea that feels like it’s “just on the tip of the tongue”. Instead, words may be misused, garbled or stories and phrases might be repeated multiple times within a very short period.
When Memory Loss is Okay
Age-related memory loss is mild and does not have a significant impact on overall functionality, safety, or life qualities. More extreme forms of cognitive decline, however, can disrupt independent functioning and are usually attributed to an underlying event or illness such as Alzheimer’s, head injury, silent stroke, and vascular stroke among others. Thus, if you or a senior family member is experiencing issues with memory loss that are impacting day-to-day living, it’s important to consult with a doctor.
Memory Loss Can Be Avoided
Contrary to popular belief, there are things that aging adults can do to prevent or limit memory loss. Although age-related memory loss is common, it is definitely not inevitable. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, engaging in lifelong learning, and enjoying a robust social life are among some of the many ways to preserve cognitive functioning and overall brain fitness. The Cognitive Therapeutics Method is also available exclusively to Home Care Assistance clients and was designed specifically to promote brain health, mental acuity, and cognitive functioning in senior adults.
When signs of minor memory loss rear their heads, seniors should take a close look at their life habits and start working on improving them. If your senior loved one may need a help embarking on new and healthy habits, call 480.448.6215 and speak to a Care Manager from the trusted Scottsdale home care agency, Home Care Assistance. Schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation for more information.