Is It Alzheimer’s Disease or Old Age? Sudden Forgetfulness in the Elderly
With age comes forgetfulness, and it’s not uncommon for even the sharpest mind to get a little foggy. With elderly clients, you might notice them losing track of their keys or running late on their bills from time to time. While this is a normal part of aging, you might wonder if this forgetfulness is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
While age-related memory problems share some similarities with early signs of Alzheimer’s, there are a few important differences. Learning these can help you know if your client is just a little forgetful or if there is a more serious problem. With early detection, you can provide better care and make preparations to help everyone best cope with the disease.
The Difference Between Normal Aging vs. Alzheimer's
While Alzheimer’s shares some similar characteristics with age-related mental decline, its symptoms are often much more intense and sustained over time. Memory problems may cause temporary inconveniences, but they aren’t enough to significantly impact quality of life.
Some memory problems are only temporary, and might resolve themselves once the underlying issues causing them are addressed. However, Alzheimer’s disease can slowly erode the ability of your client to function independently It can seriously affect their health and can even simple tasks can become challenging.
Signs of Alzheimer's to Watch For
Other Common Causes of Memory Loss or Forgetfulness
While some memory problems are to be expected with age, there are times when memory loss will become more severe. While this may be alarming, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have Alzheimer’s disease.
Their bodies and minds are increasingly sensitive to the smallest disruption, which can cause confusion or memory loss if left unchecked. However, once the underlying cause is addressed, your client can quickly regain their mental faculties.
It’s natural to expect the worst if your elderly patient is experiencing memory problems. In most cases though, there is little to worry about.
However, if you suspect Alzheimer’s, it’s important to find out as soon as possible. The earlier the disease is detected, the sooner a treatment plan can be put in place and the necessary lifestyle changes can be made to better adapt to the disease.
Find out which classes are available through the CareAcademy platform on dementia and Alzheimer's disease.