Memory Loss: My Parent is Forgetful Is it Serious?

Posted on

Feb 21, 2017

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Caregivers wonder about signs indicating a loved one may have Alzheimers or dementia.
Is simple forgetfulness an indicator? Is the type of forgetfulness a factor? How complicated is memory loss to diagnose? How might I notice true forgetfulness in a loved one? Isnt becoming forgetful as we age normal?

There is a term called cognitive control that means the ability to coordinate, organize behavior, plan, and reason which are considered higher order brain processes that support or impair day-to-day function. Disorganization and an inability to plan becomes more relevant with an individual who previously possessed or excelled with these skills.

Are you noticing stacks of mail on the kitchen table unopened? Does your parent tell you repeatedly that they are going to take a specific action yet the action never occurs? Is your loved one able to evaluate information between two alternatives and easily make a decision? When questioned, does mom or dad say, Ill decide later or I just cant make up my mind.

Delay tactics that may seem normal may indicate cognitive decline. Responses that are vague rather than specific may indicate cognitive decline. No one wants to admit that he or she cant remember or make a reasonable decision. We either know and can recall information or we cant. Sometimes we may experience a delay in accessing information; this is normal. When we cant remember at all or we continually repeat information this is indicative of memory loss.

Seek a specialist like a neurologist or a neuropsychologist to complete a thorough cognitive assessment to determine if what you are seeing is normal aging or something more serious. If you or a loved one are seeking information related to aspects of daily care and caregiving, my book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Lifes Unexpected may be found at www.TheCaregivingTrapBook.com.



Editors Note: This article was submitted by Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA. Pamela may be reached at 303-810-1816 or at pamela@thecarenavigator.com.

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