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When Memory Loss is a Cause for Concern

By Dian Brannen, 8:00 am on

We’ve all experienced that moment when we’ve misplaced our keys or forgotten to pay a recurring monthly bill. While frustrating, these moments are often just lapses in our short term memory and can be attributed to the fast-paced lifestyle many of us lead. However, for seniors and aging adults, this is not always the case. When simple daily tasks are constantly forgotten, ignored or overlooked by your aging loved one, it may be time to schedule an appointment with his or her doctor or primary care physician.

As a leading provider of in-home dementia care in the Lehigh Valley, we know how difficult and emotional it can be for families to admit that a loved one may need help because of memory issues. However, because early detection offers the best chance for a positive outcome, we wanted to share a few common examples of when memory loss is a cause for concern so families of elderly loved ones can take action as soon as possible:

  • Personal care activities are ignored. Skipping activities like bathing, showering or brushing teeth on a regular basis often indicate that the senior has forgotten their personal care regimens. For many seniors, a lack of hygiene is a clear sign that some level of assistance is needed.
  • Bills are overdue and collection calls are frequent. Paying bills is something that your loved one has likely been doing for 30 or 40 plus years. So when you notice that bills and mail are piling up or that credit card companies are inquiring about payment, it’s important to talk with your loved one to determine if they’re able to manage their finances independently.
  • Accidents are happening more frequently. Whether you notice a pan in the kitchen has been completely scorched or the car has new dents and scratches, a rise in accidents may mean that your loved one is not cognitively able to perform some of their regular daily activities.
  • Your loved one is constantly repeating stories. When memory is an issue of concern for a senior, he or she will tend to repeat things that have been said. This isn’t just mom or dad talking about their favorite memory growing up, but them repeating something that they said or asked just minutes before.

Memory loss is an easy to identify symptom of more serious conditions such as dementia. However, because dementia often indicates problems with at least two brain functions (such as memory loss and impaired judgment or memory loss and poor language skills), it is often necessary to speak with a professional to determine if dementia is in fact the cause of your loved one’s change in behavior or abilities.

To learn more about dementia or memory care for an aging parent or loved one, visit our website at www.homecareassistancelehighvalley.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 484-350-3874. We are here to help 24/7.