Is It Senior Forgetfulness – or Dementia?

man thinking

Senior forgetfulness is not uncommon, but should be checked by a doctor.

You entirely forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Tuesday, misplaced your reading glasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t remember the name of the new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this simply an ordinary part of growing older, or could it be the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?

The worry about developing Alzheimer’s is not uncommon; and growing, as Alzheimer’s has garnered increasing awareness, resulting in anxieties about our own potential loss of functionality and independence, as well as memory challenges. Furthermore, it brings up questions regarding future living and care arrangements, if the time should come that support is needed to remain safe and to tend to daily needs.

However, it is essential to understand that there are a variety of factors behind forgetfulness which are entirely unconnected to Alzheimer’s, and some amount of memory impairment is merely part and parcel of aging. Recent statistics show that only 5% of seniors ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia, although that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.

The first step is to speak with your primary care doctor about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so you can receive a precise diagnosis and treatment. Prior to your appointment, make a note of details such as:

  • When the impairment began
  • Whether or not it was a gradual or sudden decline
  • If it is affecting day to day life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.

The physician will want to eliminate conditions that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as evaluate whether the issue might stem from treatment side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, may affect the ability to:

  • Communicate
  • Reason, judge, and problem-solve
  • Focus and pay attention

For individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that affects the ability to manage daily life independently, CareWorks Health Services is always here to provide as much or as little help as needed from thoroughly trained and experienced care professionals. Several of the ways we are able to help older adults with Alzheimer’s or other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:

  • Assistance with personal care needs, such as showering and dressing
  • Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
  • Errand running
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Household chores
  • Engaging activities and socialization
  • And much more

If you’re looking for one of the most trusted home health agencies in Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas, contact CareWorks Health Services at (949) 859-4700 for a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help.