Red Flags To Watch For In Senior Moments
There is so much coverage out there of Alzheimer’s and dementia, that we all seem to be looking a little closer at memory moments.
If we can’t find our keys or cannot immediately recall a name, it makes us wonder what’s going on. Sometimes if we are in a real hurry or overly tired, this can be a perfectly normal result.
I found myself considering this issue with a longtime senior friend recently. She had always been one of the most alert people that I knew. She maintained her home, helped her grandchildren, and pursued several gardening and sewing hobbies with a vengeance. To look at her schedule she was the picture of the way things should be in the senior years.
But then little things began to come up and her family began to question things that happened. She made decisions impulsively, become irritable quickly, and just seemed to be someone else at times. She also set up plans and then completely forgot about them. Her family sought help and it was determined that she had the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.
Health Grades recently listed some flags to note.
Forgetting recently learned information can be a signal. Planning a lunch with someone new and then forgetting all about the date can be a signal.
Becoming disoriented in familiar places can be a flag. A relative of mine made a trip from one home to another home over and over. And then one morning she simply could not remember the route back. Also confusing past and present or losing track of time can raise questions.
Getting hung up in the midst of a conversation can happen to anyone, but simply coming to a halt and having no idea where to go from there could be a flag.
Not being able to carry out regular tasks can raise issues. A friend of mine was the one who always paid the bills and kept his family organized. Then suddenly he began to forget writing checks or paid the same bill twice. His family knew there were new issues.
We all misplace things and have to backtrack to find them. But shoving the car keys into the fridge or placing books in the pantry raises questions.
I have seen issues in my own family where depression seemed to be clouding memory more than dementia. It is always important to track daily behavior and get a full reading of what might be going on before leaping to conclusions.
Having the doctor and specialists carefully review the matter and doing a complete health checkup is essential. Then finding out about the best treatments and learning the most effective ways to deal with memory loss to insure safety is needed.
Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives