What do memory problems mean for seniors?
Everyone tends to slow down as they age both physically and mentally. We tend to forget things more easily and may catch ourselves not being able to recall names of certain people as easily as we once used to. But this isn’t necessarily indicative of memory problems in seniors; it could be just a part of growing older.
But for a growing number of people, memory problems coupled with some other symptoms, such as confusion and struggling to find the right words, can be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. The difference being that the memory loss impacts on every day functioning, it stops the senior with the memory problem from being able to do many everyday activities, solve problems or learn new information. It’s usually a gradual decline that will require increasing levels of care for seniors.
If you or someone you know is struggling in this way, it’s important to go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. An early diagnosis is key to better managing any possible memory problem. There are many resources and treatments that can be enormously beneficial in caring for seniors with dementia and memory loss.
Difficult remembering things can impact in all sorts of ways from not taking important medications to forgetting to go to a social engagement and missing out on vital social interaction with friends. It can cause difficulty finding the right words which impacts on communication, causing frustration and emotional problems for both the senior with the memory problem and their friends and relatives who may not understand their condition.
Dressing properly may also become an issue. They may forget how to dress appropriately and become confused about hygiene and bathing. Eating can be a challenge too and if the memory loss is caused by dementia, poor appetite and loss of interest in food may develop.
Memory problems in seniors can also present a danger when out and about. It could cause problems navigating in once-familiar places and cause confusion trying to get home.
Thankfully, there are many ways to improve care for seniors with memory problems. An important consideration for the family is trying to maintain as much familiarity as possible for their relative with memory problems at the same time as organising the home to be a safer place and building routine and regular activities into daily life.
Organising a companion at home is also an excellent way of taking the strain off family members and giving peace of mind to all and offering regular social interaction for your elderly relative which is so important in terms of quality of life and keeping the brain and mind engaged.