In the past, memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion were considered a normal part of aging. However, scientists now know that most people remain both alert and able as they age. Although it may take them longer to remember things.
A lot of people experience memory lapses and forget things. Some memory problems are serious, and others are not. People who have serious changes in their memory, personality, and behavior may suffer from a form of brain disease called dementia.
Dementia seriously affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. And Alzheimer’s disease is one of many types of dementia.
The term dementia describes a group of forgetfulness symptoms that are caused by changes in brain function. Dementia symptoms may include:
- becoming lost in familiar places
- being unable to follow directions
- asking the same questions repeatedly
- neglecting personal safety, hygiene, nutrition
- getting disoriented about time, people, and places
People with dementia lose their abilities at different rates. Dementia is caused by many conditions. Some conditions that cause dementia can be reversed, and others cannot.
Further, many health conditions may cause forgetful symptoms that seem like Alzheimer’s, but are not. And some of them are treatable.
Reversible forget type conditions can be caused by:
- a high fever
- poor nutrition
- minor head injury
- vitamin deficiency
- bad reactions to medicines
- problems with the thyroid gland
Medical conditions like these can be serious and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
Sometimes older people have emotional problems that can be mistaken for the forget behavior of dementia. Feeling sad, lonely, worried or bored may be more common for older people facing retirement or coping with the death of a:
Adapting to these changes leaves some people feeling confused or forgetful. Emotional problems can be eased by supportive friends and family, or by professional help from a doctor or counselor.
The two most common forms of dementia in older people are Alzheimer’s and multi infarct dementia. These types of dementia are irreversible, which means they cannot be cured.
The cause of your elderly parent’s forgetfulness may be as simple as the need for more social interaction or as permanent as Alzheimer’s.