Greetings once again from your Athens-area assisted living and Athens memory care community here at Manor Lake. Today’s blog post is for all of you at-home memory care support providers who might be stressing about periodically (or maybe even often) misplacing your keys, your cell phone, your TV remote, or other commonly used items. Maybe some of you are even moving beyond stress and into fear that you, yourself, are beginning to suffer the same disease as the cherished loved one that you care for. Well friends, while only a professional can diagnose your concern with certainty, what we (non-clinical professionals) can tell you is that the frustrations listed above are more often simply commonalities of normal, fully functional aging adults.
Aging is a natural process, and as we grow older, parts of our brain and body are gradually altered. Some of the changes affect our physical abilities, and others affect us mentally. Everyone ages differently. We all experience changes eventually, and there’s no exact timeline for when these changes will occur.
We can all expect to experience some memory loss at some point, but how do we know the difference between normal aging and a condition that affects cognitive functions, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? When is it time to speak to our family doctor about additional support services or memory care?
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMENTIA & MEMORY LOSS
Dementia and memory loss have similar symptoms but are significantly different from each other. How do we distinguish between forgetfulness and a need for memory care? Memory loss occurs as part of the normal aging process, resulting from a natural decline or slowing of the body. Although the brain begins to slow, a person’s intelligence continues to function as usual.
Natural memory loss will not:
- Disrupt your day-to-day life
- Affect your ability to complete tasks
- Affect your ability to learn new things
Dementia is a progressive condition resulting from a breakdown of cognitive function. This condition can cause frequently disruptive mental and physical symptoms that gradually worsen.
Symptoms of dementia effect:
- Your daily life
- Your daily routines
- Your ability to learn new things
- Your ability to complete familiar tasks
- Your relationships
If you are losing sleep or constantly worry about your memory issues possibly being related to early dementia, speak to a medical professional. More likely than not, your mind will be put at ease making you more happy, positive, and a better care provider for your loved one. Of course, when it becomes time to put your loved one into the loving care of memory care professionals here in Athens, contact us anytime.