Normal Aging or Sign of Dementia?
Increasing forgetfulness, getting lost, and repeating yourself without awareness are all worrisome symptoms of Dementia. The challenge comes when we try to understand what qualifies as a real symptom and what is normal aging.
The good news: not all senior moments point to Dementia. For example, failing to remember a name or misplacing the car keys are not symptoms unless they are occurring often enough to disturb your everyday activities. We all know these bodies are not going to last forever, so we naturally make adjustments to accommodate for these changes.
For example, everyone is wearing glasses, contacts or have a pair of reading glasses as we move through our forties and fifties. This is normal aging. Although we don’t like to admit it, our brains are also aging and we can’t seem to respond as quickly or hang on to as many details as before, so we compensate by writing everything down. This too is normal aging and not a symptom of Dementia.
Sometimes what looks like Dementia can be a vitamin deficiency, thyroid problem or even an infection that could resolve with treatment. If you are concerned, let your doctor know and get the appropriate testing done. You and your family should know exactly what’s going on and how to prepare.
Teresa Youngstrom RN Dementia Specialist