What’s the Difference Between Forgetfulness, Memory Loss, and Dementia?

Some minor memory loss may be a normal part of growing older, and people may joke about “senior moments” in conversation. However, there is a point where a normal aging process becomes something more serious as we forget things and memories are lost. Let’s discuss the differences between normal forgetfulness, memory loss, and dementia .

Normal forgetfulness

As we get older the proteins and hormones in our bodies used to repair the brain start to decline. Other factors can include the medications we take and other factors. Normal forgetfulness might simply be not remembering where you placed your keys or glasses, forgetting an appointment, or not instantly recalling the name of someone you haven’t seen in a while. These minor lapses are normal and nothing to be concerned about when they happen occasionally.

Memory Loss in Seniors

Memory loss

Memory loss can be frustrating as you try to remember things. Normally an occasional lapse wouldn’t be considered memory loss, but if the lapses become more frequent then it is more important to monitor them. Other factors can cause memory loss including:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Medications
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Head injuries
  • Anesthesia
  • Medical conditions or neurological disorders

If occasional forgetfulness is increasing to a daily struggle to remember things, get a doctor’s evaluation to eliminate possible causes and plan corrective actions.

Mild cognitive impairment

This condition falls between memory loss and dementia so it is worth mentioning. MCI is important to note because of the possible causes mentioned above that don’t have anything to do with dementia. If you are forgetting things, names of people you just met, daily activities, or appointments it is a good idea to get a medical evaluation to either rule out dementia or be prepared for it.

Dementia

Dementia is not an inevitable result of aging. Dementia occurs when daily living is impacted by the loss of memory or inability to remember important things needed for daily living. Consider dementia is possible if you have a loved one who:

  • gets lost in familiar places
  • cannot recall names
  • is unable to follow conversations or television programs
  • cannot recall the names of familiar objects

They need medical evaluation promptly. Dementia progresses at different rates in people so it’s important to deal with it promptly.

Help at Home Homecare has been helping Florida seniors have a positive living experience for the past 10 years. We can help with dementia and memory problems, home skilled nursing care, and home health assistance. Contact us today for more information at 941-388-3117.

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