Memory loss is usually the first symptom that alerts someone that something isn’t right. Because it’s perfectly normal to occasionally misplace or forget things, memory problems may be dismissed as just being associated with normal aging. However, if your senior loved one has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, you may have some questions about the type of memory loss often associated with this progressive condition.
Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Memory Loss
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, memory loss symptoms are often mild to start with. For example, your loved one might put his or her car keys in an odd place and forget where they are or have some difficulty recalling what he or she had for breakfast. Early signs of memory-related issues you may notice while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s may include:
• Difficulty completing normal household tasks (e.g., forgetting how to make a favorite meal or having difficulty keeping track of monthly bills)
• Confusion when driving to frequently visited locations, such as the local grocery store
• An inability to retrace steps when something is misplaced
• Difficulty following a lengthy or detailed conversation
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Lehigh Valley elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Late-Stage Memory Loss
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss can be especially difficult to manage. These stages are when it’s common to forget names, places, and important life moments. There may also be confusion about common items, such as calling a pen a fork. During the later stages, you may also notice your loved one having difficulty keeping track of dates, the time of day, or the passage of seasons. There may also be challenges with staying focused during conversations. Severe memory loss is sometimes coupled with sudden emotional outbursts triggered by confusion.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Memory Loss
A progressive loss of brain cells is the main cause of the memory loss that’s characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Short-term memory is usually affected first, which is why seniors in the earlier stages of the disease often have difficulty recalling more recent events or conversations. Memory problems can also be affected or worsened by:
• Changes in living arrangements
• Reactions to certain medications
• Certain types of infections
• Changes in daily routines
• Underlying issues with depression or anxiety
Solutions and Strategies
The progression of the disease cannot be stopped. However, certain medications may minimize memory difficulties. Drugs known as cholinesterase inhibitors are often prescribed for this purpose. However, the general recommendation for Alzheimer’s-related memory loss is to develop effective strategies to help your loved one as much as possible, such as:
• Casually reminiscing and talking about favorite memories
• Preparing photo albums and scrapbooks to trigger certain memories
• Traveling with your loved one when he or she starts to have confusion-related difficulty getting where he or she needs to go—this is also important for safety reasons
• Offering gentle corrections in a way that’s not condescending or scolding
• Keeping tasks simple and sticking to a regular routine
Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 484-350-3874.