Everyday lapses in memory are normal.
We forget what day it is but remember later. Or we might forget where we placed the keys when we came home last night. But then we find it later.
These are normal.
However, when forgetfulness begins to interfere with your daily life, there is a cause for concern.
It is however also important to remember that forgetfulness does not necessarily mean a person has Alzheimer’s Disease.
In fact, mild memory loss and forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging.
As we get older, our bodies go through many changes and this includes changes in the brain.
Thus, you might realize that it is harder to learn new things or that you don’t recall facts as easily.
How can you even tell that the forgetfulness you’re experiencing is related to Alzheimer’s or not?
In today’s post, we will go over the key differences between Alzheimer’s and mild memory loss related to aging.
And, we will also talk about how to cope with memory loss as you grow older.
Let’s dive right into it.
Coping with Memory Loss-Important Things To Know
So what are the differences between mild memory loss that is related to aging and memory loss related to Alzheimer’s?
- With mild memory loss, you might make one bad judgement that is unusual for you once in a while. When memory loss is related to Alzheimer’s you make a series of bad judgments or decisions.
- With mild memory loss, you might forget a day and remember it later. For memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s, a person loses track of time completely.
- Once in a while we all forget a word to use for something we are describing. If the memory loss is related to Alzheimer’s however, you might have trouble having a conversation.
- Losing things from time to time to normal. When you find that you are losing things all the time and/or being unable to find them, Alzheimer’s might be in the picture.
What causes memory loss and forgetfulness?
The fact that the mild memory loss you’re experiencing is not related to Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to your doctor about it.
Apart from aging, memory loss is associated with:
- tumors or infections in the brain
- medication side effects
- a head injury that might have happened if you have fallen recently
- drinking too much alcohol
- stress or emotional issues
- elder abuse
To make sure none of these medical conditions in responsible for your memory loss, talk with your doctor.
Early interventions for memory loss and forgetfulness are always helpful.
Coping with Memory Loss- 8 strategies to help you cope
So how do you as a person experiencing memory loss cope?
- Talk to your doctor the moment you start noticing that forgetfulness is interfering with your day-to-day functioning. They might be able to recommend a medication course that helps reduce the progression of memory loss.
- Eat more food that improves your brain health.
- Take care of your emotional health as well.
- Arrange your home in such a way that it is safe and you reduce the risk of falls. For useful tips on how to reduce the risk of falls in your home, check out this post.
- Write important information down and place it in a visible area. Birthdays, your doctor’s number and such key information can be written on a large piece of paper and be placed on your refrigerator for instance.
- Set reminders or use alarms to remind you of important events throughout the day.
- Let a trust family member or friend know where vital documents such as your will, advanced directives, social security and financial information is located. This way, they can provide that information when you forget.
- You might also want to consider a fiduciary to help you manage your finances and financial obligations.
Memory loss and forgetfulness are certainly difficult topics to navigate.
But there is help and it is possible to thrive in spite of it.
The tips shared in here will be helpful to you if you’re in that place or are a caregiver with a loved one in that place.
If you found this post helpful, consider sharing it with someone else that might be dealing with memory loss and forgetfulness.