Everyone has experienced some degree of forgetfulness from time to time. Misplacing your keys or forgetting why you went from one room to another are experiences that are common and probably no reason for concern. But, how do you tell the difference between simple memory loss and early dementia symptoms?

Common Signs of Normal Memory Loss

As we age, not only do our bodies slow down, but our brains do too. It may not be as easy to remember things and people as it once was. While you might feel frustrated at not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance or you might occasionally have trouble finding the right word, these are simply signs of normal memory loss.

Close to 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience memory loss to some extent. If your memory problems aren’t caused by a medical condition, they are most likely part of the normal aging process.

What Do Loved Ones Say About Your Memory?

One key difference between normal memory loss and early dementia can be found in the reactions of loved ones. If you have simple memory loss, you might tell loved ones that you are worried about your memory, but they tell you that they are not worried. However, with early dementia, you may believe nothing is wrong while loved ones are telling you that they are concerned about your memory problems.

What Are Early Signs of Dementia

How do you know? Memory problems often start slowly. You may start to forget little things that you normally would have remembered, such as routine visits from friends or family.

While becoming slightly forgetful doesn’t always mean dementia, it may be a sign of mild cognitive impairment, which is a precursor to developing dementia. About 50 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop dementia in four or five years.

Other Signs of Dementia

There is more cause for concern when you have difficulty recognizing everyday objects, which may even include recognizing yourself in the mirror. Frequently misplacing items, particularly when you place them in places they clearly do not belong could also be an indicator. An example would be if a loved one left their keys in the refrigerator.

Other signs that could indicate dementia include:

  • Problems completing everyday tasks
  • Feeling confused about location or time
  • Personality changes
  • Inability to solve problems

Caring for a Patient with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

There are many possible causes of dementia, but the leading cause is Alzheimer’s Disease, which accounts for as many as 60-80 percent of cases. A patient with Alzheimer’s Disease gradually becomes forgetful over time, feels lost frequently, and is confused often. However, there are many ways to prevent frustration and help them work through those tough times. At Riddle Village, we offer a variety of care options to help with every stage of dementia.

Living in a caring environment with an experienced and dedicated staff, committed to helping those with memory loss, can help make one feel safe. Contact us online or by phone by calling 610-891-3700 to learn more about the different levels of care at Riddle Village.