Is Your Parent Just Aging Or Suffering From Dementia? Signs To Watch Out For
As an adult child of aging parents, you may begin to notice both physical and mental changes in your parents' health when you see them. While it is normal for your parents to go through these age-related changes, you may find yourself wondering whether some of their memory lapses are simply due to age or due to something more, like Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Get to know some of the signs that your parents' memory issues are something more than just age-related so that you can help them get to a doctor for testing and possible treatment and home health care services (or other assistance) as soon as possible.
Forgetting Important Events And Dates
One of the earliest signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease is losing important information that was previously "locked into" the person's memory. Oftentimes, this means important events and dates. If your parent begins to forget family birthdays (like your birthday or that of your siblings), their anniversary, or the like, there may be a problem.
Additionally, the loss of newer date and appointment information can occur. While some of this short-term memory loss can be attributed to normal aging, there are limits. Frequently forgetting dates that were discussed on several occasions, for example, would be considered a warning sign of dementia and should likely result in an appointment with a doctor for further testing and examination.
Losing Their Way To Or Around Familiar Places
Navigation and special memory can become difficult for people who are suffering from dementia. Oftentimes, this starts with places outside of the home. For example, they may lose their way when they are headed to the grocery store your parent always shops at or the doctor's office when they have gone to the same doctor for a prolonged period of time. A one-time memory lapse can be chalked up to age or simply being distracted. However, if it happens more than on rare occasions, it is a red flag.
Studies have shown that people who suffer from frequent falls are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Doctors are not entirely sure why falling and balance problems are associated with dementia.
However, it could have to do with the fact that dementia is characterized by protein bundles or plaques in the brain that block the neurons from communicating with one another. This can make it difficult to maintain proper balance because of poor communications between areas of the brain and between the brain and body.
Now that you now a few of the signs that your parent may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, you can be sure to help them to get to the doctor for diagnosis and testing if they are suffering from such issues. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the care and support your parent can receive from you, their doctors, and home health care services or other assistance. To learn more, contact a company like Staff Mates Homecare.