The aging brain is not as well equipped to remember short term learning but yet may recall stories from years gone by. If you drive to work or the grocery store on a regular basis, you need to remember where you parked. If you don’t create a memory, you will be confused when you come out trying to locate your car. As we age, we tend to forget where we left our keys and other items. Did we take our medication? Did we turn off the stove and did we lock the door? If we create a pattern and never veer from it, we may not forget, or at least not as easily.
Just because you may have a lapse in memory, or certain ‘things’ are harder to retain, does not mean you are experiencing dementia and are in need of dementia care. Our brains are crammed with memories and information. According to dementia care specialists, there are two forms of memory. The short-term, or working memory, holds information for use right now. Long-term memory is an accumulation of our life experiences, many of which are most likely fuzzy. Retaining so many memories over the years, long-term memory probably will not be crystal clear. Mild memory loss or forgetfulness is normal. Before assuming you are experiencing dementia or the first signs of Alzheimer’s take a deep breath and consult with your medical team. A home caregiver can help you and your doctor identify what is normal and what is not. There are many other causes for memory loss, including hearing deficiencies and stress, both of which can be treated, allowing the memory impairment to be reversed. If dementia is identified and assistance is needed, dementia care is available to provide help and support.
No matter how normal memory lapses may be, they are frustrating. It is important to remain physically and emotionally fit. Whether its dementia or other changes in cognitive memory, ignoring the issue or becoming isolated will not make the issue go away. Seniors can reach out and create a support system, often utilizing in home care services to avoid isolation and slow down unnecessary anxiety and worry.