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Dementia: Is being forgetful a sign of dementia?



I get many calls from people asking if memory loss is a sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. Memory loss that disrupts daily life could be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other type of dementia. We know that Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. As we age it is typical to make occasional errors or forget where we place something or the name of a person but that forgetfulness and remembering them later does not disrupt your daily routine and life. According to the Alzheimer's Association there are 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life - one of the most common signs of Alzheimer's in the early stage is forgetting recently learned information and asking the same questions over and over.

  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems - living with dementia can cause changes in the ability to develop and follow a plan or even work with numbers such as balancing a checkbook or keeping track of monthly bills making concentration more difficult.

  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks - daily tasks can become difficult to complete such as driving to a familiar location or organizing a grocery list.

  4. Confusion with time or place - people living with Alzheimer's or dementia can lose track of dates, days, seasons and time and can even forget where they are are or how they got there.

  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships - for some people having vision issues is a sign of Alzheimer's. It can lead to trouble reading or difficulty with balance or judging distance while driving.

  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing - trouble following or joining a conversation or stopping in the middle of a conversation can be a struggle.

  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps - putting things in unusual places and unable to retrace steps are common in Alzheimer's and dementia. As the dementia progresses he or she may accuse others of stealing.

  8. Decreased or poor judgment - changes in judgment and decision making can occur such as poor hygiene, money management, etc.

  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities - difficulty in holding or following a conversation can result in withdrawing from social activities or hobbies.

  10. Changes in mood and personality - living with Alzheimer's and dementia can cause mood and personality changes, especially when they are out of their comfort zone. Confusion, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious are common mood changes.

Comforcare uses a unique approach to Alzheimer's and Dementia care - our DementiaWise concierge dementia care program uses best practices for Alzheimer's and Dementia care.

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