As we age, memory loss is quite frustrating. For example, recalling names, details of incidents we just experienced, or giving directions to someone. In addition to remembering our next appointment without checking the calendar to make sure.
I’ve often wondered how one can recognize dementia as opposed to memory loss. Normal memory loss and dementia are not the same. Dementia can impact your ability to take care of yourself. If you are consistently forgetting where you put things time after time, could it be a sign of dementia? How concerned should we be? How can we discern the differences? What steps can we take to keep our brains and memory in good condition?
- Recent statistics are that by 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million – a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015. Source: www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp
Normal forgetfulness: ♦ Occasionally forgetting where you left things that you use regularly, such as glasses or keys. ♦ Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name. ♦ Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered. ♦ Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”
Some causes for concern: ♦ Difficulty performing simple tasks (paying bills, dressing appropriately, washing up); forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times. ♦ Words are often forgotten, misused, or garbled; Repeats phrases and stories in same conversation.
- Avoid Cognitive Impairment and protect your memory by being active. Walking, swimming, riding a bike, tennis, all help to keep your brain fit. Join a group to learn something new. Watch your blood pressure.
- Learn about the causes of age-related memory loss and what you can do to stay mentally sharp and avoid memory problems as you age.