Most people would associate memory loss with Alzheimer’s, especially when they realize their loved ones tend to forget things easily. However, this is farther from the truth as there is a difference between normal memory loss that comes with aging and Alzheimer’s. We understand that everyone dreads a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, so we’re here to provide you with the details of memory loss and Alzheimer’s in order to be more informed of the differences.
Why Memory Loss is Not Always A Sign of Alzheimer’s
Even though Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of memory loss in older adults, that does not necessarily mean your loved ones are suffering from this condition when they are forgetful. Actions such as forgetting small things, struggling with directions, and muddling up words can actually just be signs of normal aging and are not progressive. However, it’s highly advisable to encourage your loved ones to seek medical intervention and treatment as soon as possible. If your loved ones are truly suffering from Alzheimer’s, an early medical diagnosis is effective and does help to slow down or even prevent major symptoms from occurring. Proper treatment also has the capability to reverse memory loss, so your loved ones can protect themselves against long-term symptoms that can be life-disrupting.
Signs of Normal Aging
In order to differentiate between normal memory loss and Alzheimer’s, it’s important to know what are the signs of normal aging. If your loved ones’ memory improves gradually upon educational classes or therapy, this is the most obvious sign of normal aging and should not be a huge cause of concern. Loved ones with normal memory loss tend to continue having good vocabulary and function relatively well, with an awareness of a memory problem existing. In general, loved ones with normal aging might face trouble navigating a new place, find it a challenge to do new tasks, unsure of which day it is, and forget to make a monthly or annual payment. As such, normal aging can be rehabilitated.
Other reversible memory loss conditions include reactions to certain medications, alcoholism, and minor head injury or trauma. A deficiency in vitamin b-12 can also cause memory loss in older adults due to a lack of red blood cells and nerve cells. When it comes to reversible memory loss, early medical attention is the best treatment.
Signs of Alzheimer’s
Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, it is a huge cause of concern as symptoms get worse over time. As such, you should keep a lookout for early signs of memory loss in order for you or your loved ones to receive appropriate medical intervention at the earliest opportunity. Most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are aged 65 and above. It is the number one cause of memory loss in the United States. Loved ones who do suffer from Alzheimer’s aren’t able to remember small details, even with the help of context and cueing. They are not aware they are facing a memory problem and tend to be disoriented during a time or at a place. Familiar tasks, such as making coffee and performing grooming activities, also become a challenge. If your loved ones are showing these symptoms, do schedule a doctor’s appointment and seek medical help immediately.