Is It Dementia or Just Senior Forgetfulness?

Is It Dementia or Just Senior Forgetfulness?

You altogether forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Tuesday, misplaced your reading glasses for the umpteenth time, and cannot remember the name of your new neighbor for the life of you. Is all of this simply a typical part of aging, or could it be the start of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?

The worry about developing dementia is not unusual, and it’s increasing, as Alzheimer's has garnered more awareness with more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today. The prevalence of the disease contributes to anxieties about our own possible decrease in independence and functionality, as well as memory difficulties. In addition, it brings up questions regarding future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that help is needed to stay safe and to take care of everyday needs.

However, it’s important to know there are multiple causes of senior forgetfulness, which are completely unconnected to dementia, and some amount of memory impairment is just part and parcel of aging. 

The first step is to speak with your primary care physician about any cognitive impairment you are experiencing, so you can receive a detailed diagnosis and treatment. Before your appointment, make a note of details such as:

  • When the impairment began
  • Whether it was a sudden or gradual decline
  • If it is affecting daily life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.

The doctor will want to eliminate conditions that can mimic dementia – such as delirium and depression – as well as assess if the issue might originate from treatment side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, can impact the ability to:

  • Communicate
  • Reason, judge, and problem-solve
  • Focus and pay attention

For those diagnosed with dementia, or any other condition that affects the ability to manage daily life independently, Amy’s Helping Hands is always available to provide as much or as little help as needed by well trained and experienced care professionals. Just some of the numerous ways we can help seniors with Alzheimer's or any other challenges stay safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:

  • Help with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
  • Transportation to enjoyable outings and medical appointments
  • Errand running
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Household duties
  • Engaging activities and socialization
  • And a lot more

Give us a call at 519.915.4370 for a complimentary in-home consultation for more information about our top-rated Windsor-Essex home care services.