Memory loss is a growing concern worldwide as populations continue to age. Rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are climbing and are expected to double. As we age, there is some normal memory loss that we experience that is harmless. But how can you tell the difference between normal age-related memory loss and dementia?
Here are 10 signs that reveal your memory loss is something more serious and that you should see your doctor to be screened for dementia.
Memory loss that disrupts daily life: You forget recent events, important dates, you rely on memory aids, and you are repeating yourself.
Difficulty planning or solving problems: You are experiencing greater difficulty with keeping up with bills or family members. Some tasks may even take you longer and you’re lacking concentration.
Familiar tasks become challenging: Driving to a familiar place now seems unknown, you can’t remember the rules to a favorite game, and adhering to a budget seems impossible.
Mood changes: Confusion, irritability, suspicion, anxious, and fearful are all different emotions a person with dementia may experience.
Confusion with time or place: Planning future events is difficult and hard to understand. There may be confusion about where the person is.
Difficulty understanding what is being seen: Vision problems are common in dementia so reading, judging distances, and determining color and contrast is difficult.
Problems with speech or writing: Being unable to find the right word to say, pausing in between sentences, or being unable to complete written sentences.
Misplacing items and being unable to retrace one’s steps: Putting objects in unusual places instead of where they belong. For example, putting car keys in the kitchen cupboard.
Decreased or poor judgment: Being irresponsible with money or not keeping up with their own personal appearance.
Withdrawal from society: Because these individuals may have a hard time following along with others, they may begin to disengage with the world, including co-workers, family and friends, and social settings in general.
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, it is recommended you have that checked out by a doctor to determine whether or not early dementia is present.