One of the saddest things about being an adult is witnessing an elderly loved one's struggle with growing older. While physical and mental decline is usually expected during the later decades of life, Alzheimer's can expedite the process and leave your loved one unable to safely live alone or care for themselves.
But understanding the difference between memory loss issues and Alzheimer's can be difficult, especially when it comes to someone you care deeply about. If you have noticed behavior that concerns you but are unsure whether it is due to normal memory loss or the possible onset of Alzheimer's, the following information can help.
Determine the frequency of troubling behavior
People of all ages lose track of time or possessions and experience memory-related issues. Stress, relationship or work issues, sleep loss, and nutrition issues are just some of the reasons that this can happen.
But the key difference between the normal occurrences of forgetfulness and Alzheimer's or dementia is how often the behavior is happening.
People who are experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer's are more likely to frequently:
It is important to note that problems with medication and several medical issues can mimic memory-related issues and should be carefully considered.
Depression affects memory
Being depressed is another factor to consider when an older loved one seems more forgetful than usual and is exhibiting some worrisome behavior. Depression can set in due to a sudden change in their life, such as when they retire from work they loved or from a devastating loss, like the death of a spouse or close friend.
This type of memory loss often improves with the passage of time. If it persists beyond a short time, your loved one may need to seek counseling or consider taking an anti-depressant to help them regain control of their lives.
If your loved one's medical care provider does diagnose the cause as Alzheimer's, it is important to be proactive about arranging proper care and assistance for them.
While they may still be able to continue to live at home for a time, working with an Alzheimer's senior assistance program to help meet their changing needs will ensure that you and your loved one are both well prepared for whatever challenges may lie ahead. Contact a business like The Independence Houses for more information.
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