Everybody forgets things from time to time. Unfortunately, the senior population is often associated with increased forgetfulness. Elderly forgetfulness is common, but it is not the standard. There may be health conditions associated with poor memory in seniors. If you are struggling with forgetfulness or know someone displaying this telltale sign of aging, you are not alone. Learn more about elderly forgetfulness and how you can cope with these mental changes.
Is Forgetfulness Normal with Ageing?
While forgetting the name of a place or where you put an object down is common occasionally, consistent forgetfulness and memory loss with age typically aren't considered normal for aging. Instead, significant forgetfulness is often associated with a condition called dementia. There are many forms of dementia, but it is generally a neurocognitive disorder that affects a person's ability to think, recall, and display reasoning.
Dementia is known to impede a person's day-to-day life and ranges in severity. So, while missing one bill payment or misplacing your keys once after a long day might be normal forgetfulness, consistent poor judgment, difficulty remembering to pay monthly bills, and losing track of time of year may allude to dementia.
Forms of Dementia
There are many different forms of dementia. Each may have similar symptoms and onset time, but their cause is often distinct. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine what type of dementia a senior may be living with, but three forms are more common than others.
First, Alzheimer's Disease is a well-known form of dementia caused by the deposition of proteins that form buildups throughout the brain. These plaque buildups eventually cause the brain to shrink. Signs and symptoms typically display in a person's mid-60s in the form of impulsiveness, wandering and getting lost, difficulty communicating, and inability to recognize loved ones.
Vascular dementia is another common form of dementia, but it is caused by a disruption of blood flow to or throughout the brain. Your brain needs blood for oxygenation; without it, you can experience elderly forgetfulness. Vascular dementia may display as forgetting current and past events, difficulty recalling or retaining newly learned information, poor judgment, and hallucinations and delusions. This dementia form most commonly appears after the age of 65.
The third most common dementia form is dementia with Lewy Bodies. Lewy bodies are proteins that can build up in the brain and affect how chemical messengers travel. This means that stimuli may not cause a reaction as expected. Examples of symptoms include difficulty with concentration and organization of ideas, insomnia, visual hallucinations, and loss of coordination. Such symptoms tend to appear over the age of 50.
Coping with Forgetfulness
Managing forgetfulness is complex, especially when you don't know where to begin. It's important to talk with your care team to determine what tools to implement to help you best. Some tips for coping with your forgetfulness include but are not limited to:
Plan Tasks and Make To-Do Lists
Establish a Set Routine
Get Physical and Mental Exercise
Manage All Aspects of Physical Health
Get Adequate Sleep
If you are struggling with elderly forgetfulness, don't be afraid to seek help. A caretaker, family member, or another trusted individual can help you manage the symptoms of dementia.
Get Help from an Experienced Home Care Aide
It's not easy to manage elder forgetfulness alone. A home care aide is trained in techniques to guide seniors through daily tasks while managing their forgetfulness. If your loved one is more comfortable working with a familiar face, you can get paid to care for family member. NY has a CDPAP program that permits loved ones to care for their family members and receive payment for doing so. Alternatively, Rockaway Home Care can provide part-time, full-time, or live-in caretakers for seniors. If you're searching for an experienced home care provider in NYC, contact us today.