We all get a little forgetful from time to time. We occasionally forget a name, or where we’ve put something. When we’re stressed out, or tired, these instances can become longer periods of forgetfulness, and these can become more common as we get older. It’s typically nothing to worry about.
But in some cases, forgetfulness can become something more. Memory lapses can be a sign of a developing condition such as dementia, which can be very concerning. If you have older loved ones, it can be important to know the difference, so that you can get them the help that they need.
Repeatedly Asking the Same Questions
When we have a normal memory lapse, we either come to the right answer on our own, or someone tells us, we take it in, and then we know. We’re unlikely to forget the same detail or answer again immediately.
If your older loved one is having more serious memory issues, you might find that they ask you the same question repeatedly in a small space of time. It can seem like the information just isn’t sticking inside their minds, and they can’t retain the new knowledge.
Getting Lost in Places They Know Well
We all get lost from time to time. Getting lost on the way to a new place, or accidentally taking the wrong turn when we’re somewhere unfamiliar is perfectly normal, and very common. But there are places that we know by heart, places that we get to without having to think about.
If your loved one gets lost going to their local shop, or to see a friend nearby, or they seem confused by how they’ve gotten somewhere, then it might be time to look at a senior living community with memory care services like Parc Provence.
Trouble Following Directions
Most of us, even if we can’t cook, can look at a straightforward recipe and do what it tells us to do. If your loved one is having memory issues, they might find it very hard to do this. They may struggle to remember what step they are on, or what they’ve already done, and they could get very confused. You might notice that they’ve stopped baking or doing other things that they love, like knitting or sewing, which can mean that they’re having issues following the steps.
Confusion with Time
One of the first warnings that normal forgetfulness is becoming more serious is confusion around time. Your loved one might be late for things, or you might notice that they are doing things like sleeping or eating at strange times.
Not Caring for Themselves
Poor hygiene or a lack of cleanliness around the house can be a sign of memory issues and cognitive decline. But it can also be a sign of mobility issues. They might be struggling to get around, so speak to them, but don’t assume the worst.
These warning signs can be symptoms of memory loss and cognitive decline. But this doesn’t necessarily mean dementia, so don’t panic. Older people can become forgetful when they are struggling with easy-to-treat infections and other illnesses, so it’s important that you speak with them, and get medical advice before you jump to any conclusions.