If you’ve ever forgotten what day it is or struggled to find the right word, you know how frustrating difficulty remembering can be.
But is your memory loss, or that of a loved one, the result of aging, or is it an early sign of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s?
Keep reading to find out how to tell.
Does Difficulty Remembering Always Signify Alzheimer’s?
While Alzheimer’s memory loss is a well-known symptom of this condition, it is far from the only one. It is also far from the only explanation for memory loss in elders.
In fact, there are a number of explanations that can account for memory loss experienced by people of any age.
One explanation is simply age itself.
As we get older, changes occur in our brains. This can cause us to forget even the simplest of things, such as where we left our keys or what time we were supposed to meet someone.
It can also make it take longer for us to learn new things.
Other explanations for sudden or developing memory loss are emotional problems, mild cognitive issues, or trauma, such as from an injury like a fall.
There are other types of dementia besides Alzheimer’s that can cause memory loss as well.
How Can You Tell if Memory Loss in Elderly People is Due to Alzheimer’s?
While there may be many different explanations for why a person is experiencing memory loss, it can sometimes be tough to figure out which is to blame.
If the only symptom a person is experiencing is memory loss, there are a few ways to tell whether it could be the result of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
If the memory loss is random and sporadic, it is unlikely that the person suffers from Alzheimer’s. This form of dementia usually causes frequent memory loss.
Another sign that memory loss is due to something besides Alzheimer’s is if the person forgets something, but remembers it again soon after or even later that day. Often Alzheimer’s causes a person to forget something for an extended period of time, or even permanently.
If a person struggles to carry on a conversation because they can’t remember any of the words that they want to say, this can be a sign of dementia. But forgetting a word here and there is likely just a sign of aging.
What Are Other Early Signs of Alzheimer’s?
Besides short-term memory loss in elderly people, there are other signs that can signify Alzheimer’s.
One is extreme memory loss. This includes confusion about where a person is or how they got there, or difficulty performing normal, everyday tasks.
If a person becomes overly frustrated when they forget words or have trouble having conversations, it’s likely due to something besides aging.
Changes in vision, mood swings, and serious lapses in judgment can also be symptoms of dementia.
Are There Any Ways to Combat Memory Loss?
While Alzheimer’s requires medical attention and treatment, there are plenty of ways to combat difficulty remembering due to aging.
Engaging with others, playing games, learning new things, and other recreational activities can help keep your brain active and healthy, which can help reduce memory loss.
Check out our amenities to see how we help our residents combat memory loss and stay active by providing plenty of activities to enjoy each day.