Memory loss: When to seek help

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Naples Green Village

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Aug 03, 2023

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Florida - Southwest

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A number of conditions — not only Alzheimer's disease — can cause memory loss in older adults. Getting a prompt diagnosis and appropriate care is important. By Mayo Clinic Staff Everyone forgets things at some time. How often have you misplaced your car keys or forgotten the name of a person you just met? Some degree of memory problems, as well as a modest decline in other thinking skills, is a fairly common part of aging. There's a difference, however, between normal changes in memory and the type of memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. And some memory problems are the result of treatable conditions. If you're experiencing memory problems, talk to your doctor to get a timely diagnosis and appropriate care. Memory loss and aging Normal age-related memory loss doesn't prevent you from living a full and productive life. For example, you may forget a person's name, but recall it later in the day. You might misplace your glasses occasionally. Or maybe you find that you need to make lists more often than in the past in order to remember appointments or tasks. These changes in memory are generally manageable and don't disrupt your ability to work, live independently or maintain a social life. Memory loss and dementia The word "dementia" is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms, including impairment in memory, reasoning, judgment, language and other thinking skills. Dementia begins gradually in most cases, worsens over time and significantly impairs a person's abilities in work, social interactions and relationships. Often, memory loss is one of the first or more-recognizable signs of dementia. Other early signs may include:  Asking the same questions repeatedly  Forgetting common words when speaking  Mixing words up — saying "bed" instead of "table," for example  Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe  Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in a kitchen drawer  Getting lost while walking or driving around a familiar neighborhood  Undergoing sudden changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason  Becoming less able to follow directions Diseases that cause progressive damage to the brain — and consequently result in dementia — include:  Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia  Vascular dementia (multi-infarct dementia)  Frontotemporal dementia  Lewy body dementia Each of these conditions has a somewhat different disease process (pathology). Memory impairment isn't always the first sign of disease, and the type of memory problems may vary. Mild cognitive impairment Mild cognitive impairment is a notable change in thinking skills that's limited, for the most part, to a narrow set of problems, such as impairment only in memory. Changes in concentration, attention or mental quickness may also be observed. Mild cognitive impairment generally doesn't prevent a person from carrying out everyday tasks and being socially engaged. Researchers and physicians are still learning much about mild cognitive impairment. For many people, the condition eventually progresses to Alzheimer's disease or another disorder causing dementia. Other people experience little progression in memory loss, and they don't develop the whole spectrum of symptoms associated with dementia. Reversible causes of memory loss Many medical problems can cause memory loss or other dementia-like symptoms. Most of these conditions can be successfully treated, and your doctor can screen you for conditions that cause reversible memory impairment. Possible causes of reversible memory loss include:  Medications. A single medication or a certain combination of medications may result in forgetfulness or confusion.  Minor head trauma or injury. A head injury from a fall or accident — even an injury that doesn't result in a loss of consciousness — may cause memory problems.  Depression or other mental health disorders. Stress, anxiety or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and other problems that disrupt daily activities.  Alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism can seriously impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also cause memory loss by interacting with medications.  Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. A vitamin B-12 deficiency — common in older adults — can cause memory problems.  Hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) slows the processing of nutrients to create energy for cells (metabolism). Hypothyroidism can result in forgetfulness and other thinking problems.  Tumors. A tumor in the brain may cause memory problems or other dementia-like symptoms. When to see your doctor If you're concerned about memory loss, see your doctor. He or she can conduct tests to judge the degree of memory impairment and diagnose the cause. Your doctor is likely to have a number of questions for you, and you will benefit by having a family member or friend along to answer some questions based on his or her observations. Questions may include:  How long have you been experiencing memory problems?  What medications — including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements — do you take regularly? What is the dosage of each?  Have you recently started taking a new drug?  What tasks do you find too difficult to perform or finish?  What have you done to cope with memory problems? Have these things helped you?  Do you drink alcohol? How much do you drink daily?  Have you recently been in an accident, fallen or injured your head?  Have you recently been sick?  Have you recently felt sad, depressed or anxious?  Have you recently experienced a major loss, change or stressful event in your life?  What is your daily routine? How has your routine changed recently? In addition to a general physical exam, your doctor will likely conduct relatively brief question-and-answer tests to judge your memory and other thinking skills. He or she may also order blood tests and brain-imaging tests that can help identify reversible causes of memory problems and dementia-like symptoms. You may also be referred to a specialist in diagnosing dementia or memory disorders, such as a neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist or geriatrician. The importance of a diagnosis Coming to terms with memory loss and the possible onset of dementia can be difficult. A person may try to hide memory problems, and family members or friends may compensate for a person's loss of memory — sometimes without being aware of how much they've adapted to the impairment. Getting a prompt diagnosis is important, even if it's a challenging step. Identifying a reversible cause of memory impairment enables you to get appropriate treatment. Also, an early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder is beneficial for a number of reasons:  Beginning treatments to manage symptoms  Educating yourself, family and friends about the disease  Determining future care preferences  Identifying care facilities or at-home care options  Settling financial or legal matters Your doctor can help you identify appropriate community resources and organizations, such as the Alzheimer's Association, to help you cope with memory loss and other dementia symptoms.  

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How Dementia Impacts Motor Skills

As we age, we experience many physical, mental and emotional changes. It is common for a senior adult to experience some limited forgetfulness or notice an ache that has recently developed, but in some cases these symptoms may indicate the onset of dementia. There is a growing body of evidence that cognitive issues like dementia exhibit an extended preclinical stage that could begin years or even decades before an official diagnosis. One of the preclinical symptoms of dementia is the onset of issues with motor skills. Regarding balance and coordination, it can be difficult to differentiate between normal age-related changes and the decline of motor skill that may place older adults at an elevated risk for dementia.Once a dementia diagnosis is confirmed, family members will probably become gradually more aware of the changes in the patients cognitive and organizational capabilities. They may also notice their family member is struggling with everyday tasks like dressing themselves or walking without assistance. Loss of stamina and coordination may also point to more extensive brain damage.Exercise Can Help with Dementia and Motor SkillsResearch has shown that regular physical exercise is integral to the health and wellbeing of patients who are living with preclinical or clinical symptoms of dementia. As with any new exercise regimen, any physical exercise must be deemed safe and enjoyable for the patient and inspire feelings of accomplishment. While individuals of any age should ask their doctor for approval before beginning a new exercise routine, it is especially critical for a senior looking to improve motor skills through movement.A physical therapist is an excellent starting point when developing a new exercise routine for those with motor skill impairment. These professionals can help to create an exercise regimen that will boost stamina, flexibility and balance and recommend exercises that will prevent issues associated with falling. If the patient does not have access to a physical therapist, the American Physical Therapy website can provide information regarding any local professionals and resources. Your family members doctor, nurse, or social worker may also be able to provide recommendations as to the right contact.Exercise that is most appropriate for senior citizens may include walking, swimming, dancing, gardening or even light housework. All of these suggestions are affordable and require little to no equipment, but they will go a long way to cultivating feelings of accomplishment and self-worth. These types of activities provide social and cognitive stimulation. Any activity that involves music can intensify and elevate the positive results. (Read more about how music can benefit a wide variety of individuals facing cognitive difficulties.)Any activity that works to improve fine motor skills will benefit the patient. The ability to navigate food packaging, successfully open and close buttons or zippers, or use a spoon and fork gives dementia or early-stage Alzheimers patients the opportunity to maintain their independence for as long as possible. An occupational therapist (OT) can recommend exercises and adaptive gear that will further assist with their home life.Other Ideas to Improve Motor SkillsSome senior adults dont like the thought of exercising, regardless of the potential benefits. However, if you are interested in working with your family member to retain cognitive capability and motor skills as long as possible, here are some additional recommendations to encourage that goal.arts and crafts projectsscrapbooking or working with photoscooking or baking (if safe)painting or drawingcontainer gardeningFind a Residence That Enhances Quality of LifeMy Care Finders is a team of senior care professionals working in the Florida community. We help families to locate the best assisted living, memory care or senior residence solution for their loved ones, by matching desires and budgets with the most highly rated facilities. Call us today to learn more about how our FREE services can benefit your family.

Top 3 Modifiable Risk Factors for Dementia, According to Recent Study

Youll find a long list of dementia risk factors but not all of them are within your control. You cant change your age or genetics. However, many risk factors for dementia are modifiable, making it possible to take steps toward minimizing your risk and protect your brain.The journal, Nature Communications, published research in March of 2024 that revealed the top three out of 15 most harmful but modifiable risk factors for dementia. This information helps you place your focus on lifestyle changes that will most impact your brain health. The three most harmful risk factors are diabetes, traffic-related air pollution, and alcohol, and here is how to minimize associated risks.15 Modifiable Risk Factors for DementiaResearch has already revealed that our brains have a weak spot that develops in later adolescence but also susceptible to earlier degeneration. Its most vulnerable to Alzheimers disease.The question became, how do we prevent this degeneration, this slide into dementia? 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Hearing loss has a negative impact on brain function, but correcting hearing loss restores brain health and prevents further decline. Hearing loss also causes social isolation and depression, both of which are dementia risk factors themselves. Addressing hearing loss can boost brain function in several ways.You can further reduce your dementia risk through lifelong learning. Your brain likes a challenge, and when you engage in learning new information or skills, it stimulates growth and brain health. It increases cognitive activity and prevents decline through lack of use. This is modifiable, because education for brain health doesnt have to be formal or expensive. You can engage in self-studies, reading that stretches your thinking, or learning a new skill through informal classes. It doesnt mean you have to go back to school or gain a degree.Preventing Dementia By Reducing Risk FactorsWhether you are at risk for dementia through genetics or not, its possible to address lifestyle factors that increase your risk further. The top three modifiable risk factors that you can address are diabetes, air pollution, and alcohol use. You can be proactive by avoiding outdoor air on high-pollution days, limiting alcohol consumption, and preventing or reversing diabetes through diet and exercise. Additionally, correcting hearing loss and continuing to learn as you age can further reduce your dementia risk.TYE Medical offers premium incontinence products in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels. Shop our online store for free and discreet shipping on all orders. 

How to Handle Agitation in Seniors with Dementia

Navigating the journey of dementia can be challenging for seniors and their caregivers alike. One of the most distressing symptoms of dementia is agitation, which can present in many forms and often disrupts daily routines and quality of life. Caregivers can often help seniors manage and decrease agitation, leading to smoother days and easier caregiving responsibilities.Agitation in Seniors with DementiaAgitation is a common symptom associated with dementia, often surfacing as restlessness, nervousness, or irritability. It can be a distressing experience not only for the senior, but also for the caregiver. Understanding agitation and how it manifests in seniors with dementia is the first step toward managing it effectively. Identifying TriggersIn many cases, agitation is not random but triggered by specific events, surroundings, or feelings. Triggers can range from a sudden change in the daily routine to a noisy environment or a complex task. Taking time to observe and identify these triggers is integral in curbing agitation. By recognizing potential triggers, you can take preventative measures or adjust routines to help reduce the onset of agitated behaviors.Calming TechniquesArmed with an understanding of potential triggers, the next step is learning how to use calming techniques when agitation arises. These techniques seek to soothe the individual and restore peace. This might involve using a gentle tone of voice, offering reassurance, or engaging in calming activities like listening to soft music or looking through family photos. It's important to remember that each person is unique, and a technique that works for one individual may not work for another. Patience, empathy, and experimentation are key to finding the most effective calming techniques.Maintaining a Safe EnvironmentSafety is paramount when caring for seniors with dementia. In agitated states, they may become more prone to accidents or wandering. To manage agitation and maintain safety, ensuring the environment is comfortable, familiar, and free of hazards is essential. Soft lighting, removing obstacles, and having a quiet, well-arranged space can significantly impact a senior's perception of their surroundings and positively influence their state of mind.Redirecting and Engaging Seniors During Agitated EpisodesWhen seniors are agitated, redirecting their attention can significantly help diffuse the situation. This involves steering their focus from the source of agitation to a more positive or engaging activity. For instance, if a certain task is causing frustration, suggesting a walk outside or starting a favorite hobby can change the dynamic. Engaging the person in meaningful activities not only diverts attention from the trigger but also maintains a sense of normalcy and routine.Get Alzheimer's and Dementia Care AssistanceCaring for seniors with dementia and managing agitation presents unique challenges. However, understanding agitation, identifying triggers, using calming techniques, ensuring a safe environment, and effectively redirecting and engaging seniors can lead to more harmonious caregiving experiences. Each strategy requires patience, understanding, and elasticity as dementia progresses and changes.Senior Helpers Fort Collins is here to provide support for those living in Fort Collins, Englewood, Littleton, Lone Tree, and Longmont. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide quality home healthcare services, Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, and more. Reach out to us today and let us be your trusted partner in meeting the needs of your loved ones with dementia 970-344-9698.

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Naples Green Village

Memory Care 101 Cypress Way E, Naples, Florida, 34110

Naples Green Village is a premier senior living community located in beautiful Naples, Florida. Our community offers a luxurious and comfortable environment for seniors looking to enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.At Naples Green Village, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch amenities and services that cater to the unique needs of each resident. From spacious and well-appointed apartments to delicious dining options and a variety of engaging activities, we strive to make every day enjoyable for our residents.Our staff is dedicated to providing personalized care and support to help residents maintain their independence and quality of life. Whether you're looking for independent living, assisted living, or memory care services, Naples Green Village has the perfect option for you.Contact us today to learn more about our community and schedule a tour. Experience the luxury and convenience of senior living at Naples Green Village.

Naples Green Village

Assisted Living 101 Cypress Way East, Naples, Florida, 34110

Naples Green Village is a premier senior living community located in beautiful Naples, Florida. Our community offers a luxurious and comfortable environment for seniors looking to enjoy their retirement years to the fullest.At Naples Green Village, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch amenities and services that cater to the unique needs of each resident. From spacious and well-appointed apartments to delicious dining options and a variety of engaging activities, we strive to make every day enjoyable for our residents.Our staff is dedicated to providing personalized care and support to help residents maintain their independence and quality of life. Whether you're looking for independent living, assisted living, or memory care services, Naples Green Village has the perfect option for you.Contact us today to learn more about our community and schedule a tour. Experience the luxury and convenience of senior living at Naples Green Village.