When any older family member starts forgetting things, it’s easy to start getting worried. But it doesn’t mean it’s time to do an internet search of “rehab facilities near me.” There are specific factors you should consider before you start to panic. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s cognitive abilities, refer to this post as a guide.
Age-Related Memory Loss
As we get older, we’ll eventually become more forgetful of things. Understanding what kind of forgetfulness that is can be helpful in easing your worries. One kind of normal memory loss older people experience is called transience. Simply put, the brain removes unused memories in order to make room for new ones, causing older memories to be forgotten. Another kind of common memory loss in the elderly is absentmindedness. This is forgetting things because you’re not focusing on them in the moment. If your parent or grandparent forgets an appointment, it could be because they weren’t focused on it.
In addition, many other possibilities can explain why an elderly person is forgetting certain things. Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can be confused for dementia. An elderly person could be so focused on those feelings or the root causes of their anxiety or depression that they forget other things. This can actually happen to younger people, as well. Keep these different possibilities in mind before you do any search for “rehab facilities near me” or “skilled nursing facilities.”
Dementia is more serious than just occasional forgetfulness. It involves not remembering very important details. For example, pay attention if your elderly parent or grandparent is forgetting how to do tasks they’ve always done. This can include forgetting how to dress appropriately, how to clean a room, or how to complete other tasks they’ve usually been able to do right. You should also take note if they forget the names of close friends or immediate family members.
Beyond forgetfulness, there are other things to also consider as potential signs of dementia. Be mindful of if your elderly relative gets lost in locations that are familiar to them or has trouble following directions. There are also personality changes that can accompany dementia. An elderly person could become more aggressive towards others or impulsive in their decisions. In addition, take notice if phrases and stories are repeated in the same conversation or if words are frequently misused. All of these signs potentially point to a more serious issue.
When You Should Visit a Doctor
If the signs of dementia have been occurring frequently, this is the time to take your elderly family member or friend to a doctor. A doctor will be able to do an examination to all but confirm this type of cognitive decline. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take an older person to a doctor even if they aren’t showing all the symptoms. Early detection could potentially slow down the progression of the condition.
If your elderly relative’s dementia becomes too much for you to handle, that’s when you should consider doing a search for “rehab facilities near me.” Nearly 70% of Americans who turn 65 will eventually need long-term care. Long term care facilities will be able to provide the necessary services to keep your elderly relative taken care of. Keep these differences in mind to know when forgetfulness should be a cause for concern.