Memory lapses can be a normal part of aging, but when are they cause for concern? Aging expert Dr. Macie Smith discusses signs to look for.
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Hi. I’m Dr. Macy Smith. I’ve spent a lot of time working with the older generation and their adult children, and one of the most frequent questions I get is: “Does Mom or Dad have dementia?”
They usually ask this when they notice their loved ones for getting names, birthdays, standing appointments, but remember we all occasionally forget things, but it’s the progressive types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease that are specifically marked by memory loss and the loss of another functioning ability affecting their life.
You want to look out for things like: Are they struggling to do things they’ve never had problems with before? Can they still cook their favorite meals or put together their favorite outfits? Are they getting their days and locations mixed up? Are they wearing clothes appropriate for the weather? Are they regularly losing or misplacing everyday items? Are they having intense mood swings or acting differently from what you know is normal for them? Have they stopped enjoying their favorite hobbies or connecting with their friends? If you notice any of these signs, call your loved one’s doctor right away.
We’ve got so much more in our What to Expect as Our Loved Ones Age series and our Memory Care Family Resource Guide at synergyhomecare.com. See you next time!
Dr. Macie P. Smith is a licensed gerontology social worker who is focused on helping families support their aging loved ones through long-term care. Specifically, Dr. Smith educates caregivers on how to care for seniors with dementia. She is an advocate for specialized care and assists others in finding a way to provide a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dr. Smith has dedicated over 22 years of her life working in gerontology and assisting families in finding personalized solutions for dementia care. For more articles by Dr. Macie Smith, go to synergyhomecare.com/blog/.
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