Aging parents and memory loss are tough ones to talk about. Taking care of an older family or friend can be a tricky and difficult feat, and if you are not aware of everything that happens in old age, it can become overwhelming.
Between taking care of their parents and children, younger adults feel as though they are clouded with so many responsibilities they didn’t sign up for. However, as you go day after day, you may start to notice they forget things quite easily, and the fact that they become absent-minded is a little worrying.
Aging Parents and Memory Loss
Memory loss is a popular thing among older adults, and it comes for many different reasons.
As we age, our thinking skills and abilities may waiver, and simply forgetting things like where we put our car keys or remembering people’s names is nothing to worry about so much. However, losing memory is questionable when one forgets to turn off the stove when cooking so the food eventually burns or one forgets famous family locations.
Many people associate memory loss with chronic illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Should any of these signs occur, it is highly recommended to seek professional help to fix the conditions?
When Should I Be Concerned About My Parents Memory Loss?
If there is any concern about memory loss, it is vital to check with your doctor to assess better what’s going on. There are certain signs to look out for that indicate psychological treatment is needed. Some of these include…
- Asking the same questions repeatedly
- Losing one’s way in places that are popular and well-known to the individual
- Not being able to follow set directions and guidelines efficiently
- Self-care seems like a thing of the past as they are eating poorly, not cleaning themselves, taking well to safety measures.
Those with memory problems should have a check-up at the doctor every six months to a year, and if they can’t remember the dates on their own, get a calendar or ask a family or friend to remind them.
What Is The Difference Between Dementia and Old Age Memory Loss?
As a person gets older, their memory sometimes changes – meaning goes “on and off.” But, if it reaches the stage where their daily lives are being affected by this condition, then it could be a case of dementia. Age-related memory loss does not necessarily pull one away from reality, while dementia is known to basically “disable” one from functioning efficiently.
Dementia affects an individual’s language, critical thinking, judgment, and memory. However, if it gets to the point where their hobbies, family life, and social activities are deeply affected, it could be an onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Are The 10 Warning Signs of Dementia?
If you notice your older relative is experiencing memory loss, it is not ideal for writing it off as dementia. There is more to it, and only when it starts to affect them deeply should you get worried. Here are a few warning signs to look out for to know when they might be developing dementia…
1. Difficulty in Finding Suitable Words
When you notice they have a problem communicating their thoughts effectively, meaning they can’t find the right words to express themselves, you should take action. If your regular conversations now take longer and are more difficult, you need to draw closer to them.
2. Problems With Short-term Memory
Their short-term memory becomes practically hard as they cannot really remember what they had for breakfast. However, you may realize they can remember things clearly that happened from when they were children. Forgetting why they entered a room or leaving some important papers, or even forgetting their plans for the day needs to be checked out.
3. Mood Swings
Heavy mood swings are prevalent among persons with dementia. This interesting thing is that the persons with the condition may not directly tell they have the problem but can easily identify it in others. Depression is an early stage of dementia. The individual’s personality may also change, and one of the most common signs of this is a shy person now loving the idea of going out.
Loss of interest to do the things once loved could be an early sign to look out for. Their emotions become laid back, and they no longer get excited about going out. Also, they don’t feel so comfortable being around friends and family anymore.
5. Normal Tasks Now Hard
Having trouble completing regular and normal activities could be another major symptom. Do you notice they have trouble balancing their checkbooks or even adhering to rules in a game? It could very well be early dementia.
Those with early dementia might be confused at the least thing they have to deal with. This results from them not being able to communicate efficiently, not remembering faces, and finding it hard to socialize with others.
7. Can’t Connect Stories
A classic early symptom of dementia is having difficulty keeping to a storyline. Forgetting the meaning of words and how to use them helps to make this problem more severe.
8. Failing Sense of Direction
A person with early dementia’s sense of direction slowly starts to deteriorate, which means they cannot easily identify landmarks and the particular routes they traveled on. Step-by-step instructions are also hard to understand.
9. Repeating Themselves
Do you notice they keep repeating themselves and not realizing they are doing that? Then, you are looking at an early sign of dementia. Daily activities such as shaving may be repeated up to three or more times in a single day. In addition to their conversation, they may repeat one thing several times.
10. Unable to Accept Change
They have a problem adapting to change, and doing so drives some level of fear in them. Remembering people, they are used to or not remembering what they went to the store for are concerns you need to take note of.
What Foods Are Bad For Dementia?
Research has shown that the risk of developing dementia through the food a person eats is more than what type of food it is and how the food is combined. Anything that falls under the unhealthy groups like sugar, fat, snacks, processed meat, alcohol, and heavy starches is risky.
It is reported that no more than 4 servings of red meats and other processed food should be given as this affects mental health. For fried food, whole-fat cheese and fast food should remain at one or no servings per week.
How Can Elderly Improve Their Memory?
Aging Parents and Memory Loss might be helped with these fun tricks! Improving memory for the elderly can be a routine thing they get used to, and, in return, it can help them diminish the onset of dementia. When looking at Aging Parents and Memory Loss, to improve their memory, seniors can…
- Opt to learn new things and widen their knowledge span
- Learn to interact more with those around them and others outside too
- Try to avoid stress
- Exercise regularly and live an active lifestyle
- Play mind-thinking games (card games or chess could work well)
- Keep a record of where to get help if it is needed.
How Can I Help My Elderly Parent With Memory Loss?
There are many ways to help your elderly parents keep their memory going strong, such as having regular conversations with them, going on nature walks with them, allowing them to munch on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, and playing mind-thinking games with them. You can also give them doctor-prescribed medications as well as provide emotional and psychological support to them.