We all forget things from time to time. You might have entered a room and forgotten why or misplaced something you use every day, like the TV remote or your glasses.
These momentary displays of forgetfulness are normal. But when does ‘normal’ become a sign of dementia and not standard forgetfulness or aging? Below, we’ve provided some information that might help you distinguish between the two.
Memory Loss Frequency
The frequency and persistence of memory loss can often help you determine whether your memory loss is something to worry about.
Normal forgetfulness can be defined as an occasional memory lapse where you might forget where you put the TV remote or call a loved one by the wrong name. However, you might decide to seek help from a medical professional if those memory lapses and occasions of forgetfulness become more frequent and severe. Rather than simply forgetting where you put the remote, you might be forgetting important events and not remembering later. You might also find that your forgetfulness is impacting everyday life.
Communication and Language
Communication is a standard part of our everyday lives. Even people with disabilities that stop them from communicating in one way find a way to communicate in another.
However, any changes in your communication and language skills might have you worried about what they could mean. If you occasionally find it challenging to find the right word in a conversation, this is generally classed as normal forgetfulness. It can even be normal to accidentally merge two words together or forget the general point of your discussion.
Seeking help from medical professionals can be vital if you’re struggling with communication more often. You might find joining or following a conversation hard or repeat yourself often. You might even be stumbling over basic words. If you’re finding it hard to write and speak, these, too, can sometimes be dementia symptoms.
Mood and Personality Changes
Mood and personality changes, in combination with forgetfulness, can sometimes be a sign of normal forgetfulness. However, they can also be linked to dementia. Distinguishing between the two can often come down to how extreme those changes are.
For example, you might be stressed or fatigued. In this situation, changes in your personality and mood can be expected. However, if you’re withdrawing from social activities, experiencing mood swings, or have other sudden or unexplained changes, dementia might be a diagnosis worth exploring.
We’ve all made bad decisions. Poor judgment doesn’t always mean you have dementia. You can make bad decisions and understand the consequences to avoid making those same decisions again in the future.
However, poor judgment can also be a symptom of dementia. Sometimes, you can make bad decisions that impact your health, safety, and well-being, such as giving away large sums of money or no longer taking care of your hygiene.
Misplacing Your Items
Misplacing items is a standard part of life. We can put items in unusual places but are usually able to retrace our steps to find them. That’s not typically the case with people living with dementia. With this cognitive decline, putting items in inappropriate places can be a regular occurrence. You may also be unable to retrace your steps to find them.
Learn More About Dementia and Care Options at Lyndale Abilene Memory Care
Memory care can be an option for anyone living with a dementia diagnosis. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with dementia, there’s no harm in learning more about your options. The Lyndale Abilene Memory Care team is here to answer any questions you might have about the next step in your healthcare journey.