Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alzheimer’s Disease vs. “Normal” Memory Loss

As baby boomers age, many people are becoming more aware of Alzheimer’s disease. They are particularly concerned as they notice changes in their ability to recall names and facts or occasionally misplace things. When do we need to be concerned about ourselves or a loved one? Here’s a list compiled from the Alzheimer’s Association and www.alzinfo.org that differentiates a normal decline in memory from signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Typical Age-Related Changes vs. Signs of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Sometimes forgetting names or appointments (but remembering them later)  vs. forgetting recently learned information or significant dates; asking for the same information repeatedly.
  2. Making errors in the checkbook from time to time vs. having trouble managing monthly bills or maintaining concentration or taking much longer to do things than before.
  3. Sometimes needing help operating electronics or making a wrong turn vs. experiencing difficulty remembering the rules of a favorite game, finding a familiar location, or remembering how you got where you are.
  4. Having trouble finding the right word vs. finding it difficult to follow a conversation or calling objects by the wrong name.
  5. Misplacing things occasionally vs. putting things in unusual places, such as placing the car keys in the refrigerator.
  6. Making a poor decision now and then vs. using poor judgment when dealing with money or failing to keep clean or groom oneself.
  7. Becoming set in one’s ways or occasionally feeling blue vs. being confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious; having rapid mood changes; or becoming easily upset outside of one’s comfort zone.
  8. Feeling the cold more vs. dressing regardless of the weather.
  9. Canceling a date with friends vs. withdrawing from social situations, watching TV for hours, or sleeping excessively.
Hopefully, this puts your mind at ease. However, if you’re noticing behaviors on the right-side of the chart, don’t panic. Remember that information is power. Experts have learned that getting an early diagnosis can make a significant difference, so don’t dismiss your concerns. Make an appointment with the family physician today!

1 comment:

  1. I am happy to hear you enjoyed this article and you found it helpful. Memory loss is a complicated issue for elderly individuals. Thanks for reading my blog!

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