Getting older is something that we all have in common, and our bodies go through changes over the years. Some changes are regular and nothing to be concerned about. Other changes, however, need your doctor’s attention. Telling the two apart can be a little difficult, but there are definite signs that are cause for concern.
What is Normal Forgetfulness? What is not?
We all forget things once in a while; it is natural. We all have forgotten an appointment or misplaced our keys; however, some forgetful tendencies can be symptomatic of a deeper problem. It is always a good idea to speak to your doctor about memory loss and let them help you decipher what is normal and what is not.
Signs that you need to share with your doctor include:
⦁ Asking the same questions over and over
⦁ Having trouble following instructions or directions
⦁ Becoming confused about people, places, or times
⦁ Getting lost in places, you know well
⦁ Difficulties taking care of yourself – reckless behavior, not eating, not bathing
While forgetfulness is often expected, there are tips that elderly citizens can take in order to help combat a worsening memory. Focusing on tasks and even adding a few new ones to your daily routine can help strengthen your brain and memory.
Some of these tips include:
⦁ Following a daily routine
⦁ Planning tasks ahead of time
⦁ Making a to-do list and using calendars
⦁ Volunteer in your community
⦁ Put your wallet, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place
⦁ Get plenty of sleep
⦁ Make plans with friends and family
⦁ Exercise regularly
⦁ Avoid alcohol
What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
Senior citizens sometimes develop a condition referred to as Mild Cognitive Impairment or MCI. MCI patients have additional memory loss or foggy thinking than is considered normal for people their age. Most people who are diagnosed with MCI can still take care of themselves and maintain their independence.
However, MCI can also be a precursor to the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Not all MCI patients develop Alzheimer’s, but it is best to keep your doctor informed of any MCI developments. Signs of MCI include:
⦁ Losing things more often than normal
⦁ Forgetting important dates, events, or appointments
⦁ Having difficulty finding the correct words while speaking
MCI patients are encouraged to visit their medical care professional every six to twelve months in order to track any symptomatic progression.
What is Dementia?
While slight forgetfulness can be a normal part of growing older, dementia is not. Dementia includes the loss of cognitive functioning, such as thinking, learning, reasoning, and remembering. Memory loss tends to be the most common symptom of dementia, but it is far from the only one.
People diagnosed with dementia may also have trouble with their language skills, attention to situational details, warped visual perceptions, and even personality changes. There are different types of dementia, but Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common in patients over 65 years of age.
Typical Signs of Aging:
⦁ Missing an occasional payment
⦁ Forgetting what day it is, but then remembering it
⦁ Making a wrong decision every so often
⦁ Misusing or forgetting a word
⦁ Misplacing an item from time to time
Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease:
⦁ Having trouble paying bills
⦁ Losing track of the date or time consistently
⦁ Having poor judgment and making bad decisions
⦁ Troubles with holding a conversation
⦁ Losing things and not being able to find them
Senior citizens should pay close attention to their mental health as they age and share any changes with their physicians. The insurance professionals at American Senior Benefits prioritize their clients’ health, security, and well-being. They can help them organize their benefits and ensure their finances are stable for their futures.
How do I Learn More?
To learn more about changes as you age and how to prepare for the future, contact the experts at American Senior Benefits. Our licensed professionals can answer any questions you have.