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Is It Just Senior Forgetfulness – or Dementia?

older man with dementia
Learn what may just be a senior moment and what may point to dementia.

You entirely forgot about the physician’s appointment scheduled for last Tuesday, misplaced your sunglasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t recall the name of the new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this simply senior forgetfulness, or could it be the start of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?

The worry over developing Alzheimer’s is quite common; and growing, as Alzheimer’s has gained increased awareness, resulting in concerns about our own potential loss of independence and functionality, together with memory challenges. It also raises questions about future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that assistance is needed to stay safe and to take care of daily needs.

However, it’s essential to know that there are multiple causes of senior forgetfulness that are entirely unconnected to Alzheimer’s, and some degree of memory impairment is just part and parcel of aging. Recent statistics show that only 5% of seniors ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia; however, that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.

The initial step is to speak with your primary care doctor about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so that you can receive a detailed diagnosis and treatment. Prior to your appointment, take note of details such as:

  • When the impairment began
  • Whether it was a sudden or gradual decline
  • If it is impacting day to day life: getting dressed, eating, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.

The physician will want to eliminate problems that can mimic dementia – such as delirium and depression – as well as assess whether the problem may stem from medication side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, may affect the ability to:

  • Communicate
  • Reason, judge, and problem-solve
  • Focus and pay attention

For those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that affects the ability to manage everyday life independently, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, providers of in home care in Kalamazoo and other Michigan communities, is always here to provide just as much or as little assistance as needed by well trained and experienced care professionals. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page. A few of the various ways we are able to help older adults with Alzheimer’s or any other challenges to remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:

  • Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
  • Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
  • Running errands
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Household chores
  • Engaging activities and socialization
  • And a lot more

Contact our care team any time for a complimentary in-home assessment for more information on how we can help.

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