As your parent or loved one ages, it’s normal for them to become more forgetful. However, if you notice a prominent gap in memory, this could be a sign of a more serious issue.
Here are some potential causes and signs to look for if your loved one begins experiencing significant memory loss.
Causes of Memory Loss
Although the brain is an organ, it behaves like a muscle. Just like every other muscle in the body, the more you use it, the less you’ll lose it. However, if your senior loved one isn’t training their brain, its functionality can decline. These are the three main causes of memory loss in seniors:
- The hippocampus (the part of the brain that helps form and retrieve memories) deteriorates.
- The hormones and proteins that protect and repair brain cells decline.
- Decreased blood flow to the brain.
Early Signs to Look For
Normal, age-related memory loss includes things like forgetting someone’s name, but remembering it the next day. However, if your loved one is becoming more mixed-up than absent-minded, they may be developing a more serious form of memory loss like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Here are a few common signs to look for if you’re concerned about your loved one’s memory:
- Difficulty performing everyday tasks
- Inability to recall or describe specific instances
- Gets lost or disoriented in familiar places
- Forgets or misuses words
- Repeats themselves when talking
- Poor judgment or inappropriate behaviors
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What to Do If Your Loved One Is Experiencing Memory Loss
If your loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should set up an appointment with their primary care physician.
It’s important to be patient and compassionate with your loved one no matter what their diagnosis is. Make sure they know you’re there for them by providing love and support through the good and bad days. Here are some additional ways to connect with someone who has dementia.
StoryPoint Is Here To Help
Here at StoryPoint, we offer specialized services designed for residents experiencing memory impairments. Our communities have specially trained staff and programs to help each resident feel comfortable while promoting dignity, independence and success. To learn more about our memory care services, reach out today.