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Memory Matters: How to Recognize the Signs of Memory Problems in Aging Adults

It’s normal to forget things from time to time. And as we age, most of us become increasingly forgetful. However, there is a difference between normal memory loss and memory loss related to Alzheimer’s and related disorders. Forgetting where you placed the car keys, not remembering to pick up an item at the grocery store, or forgetting to return a friend’s phone call is normal, but serious memory issues that disrupt everyday life can be a sign of mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or another medical condition.

Here are examples of memory issues that you should speak with your doctor about:

  • Repetitive Questioning 
  • Forgetting or Mixing Up Common Words
  • Misplacing Items
  • Getting Lost 
  • Mood Changes & Confusion
  • Neglecting Grooming

Repetitive Questioning 

Asking the same questions over and over and over again is a sign that needs to be mentioned to a doctor.

Forgetting or Mixing Up Common Words

While it might be common to forget a word every once in a while, it is not common when it happens continuously. Along with forgetting common words, another sign it’s time to seek medical attention is when you or your loved one keep mixing up words, like saying “bed” instead of “refrigerator”.

Misplacing Items

Yes, sometimes people misplace things, but if it’s happening more often, and/or things are being misplaced in illogical locations (like car keys in the bathroom hamper) it’s time to be concerned.

Getting Lost 

This is a big red flag! Getting lost in familiar places or wandering aimlessly are sure signs that you need to discuss what’s happening with your doctor.

Mood Changes & Confusion

If you or a loved one start experiencing mood swings or changes without any apparent reason, you need to be concerned.

ProTip: If you or a loved one seems to get confused about time, people, or places, it could be a sign of early-stage dementia, and you need to discuss it with your doctor.

Neglecting Grooming

If you or your loved one stops taking care of themselves like neglecting to groom, forgetting to bathe, brushing one’s hair, or cleaning up after eating…these are signs that it is time to talk to the doctor about memory loss.  

In conclusion

It comes down to: If you’re concerned about memory loss, see your doctor. Coming to terms with memory loss and the possible onset of dementia can be difficult, but it needs to be discussed with a doctor to help slow the progression of the disease and to help the person cope with the changes. This might also be the perfect time to consider a credible In-Home Care service like A Friend In Need Home Care to ensure you live the safest, best life possible.


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