Although minor episodes of forgetfulness can be frustrating for aging adults, they’re typically a normal part of getting older and shouldn’t be cause for great concern. However, if your aging loved one is experiencing frequent or severe memory lapses, these may be an early indicator of a more serious condition such as Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and your parent should see his or her doctor. Here are a few signs your loved one’s memory loss may be serious.
1. Inattention to Hygiene
Forgetting to take care of personal hygiene is a clear sign something is impacting your parent’s mental or emotional health. If your loved one has suddenly stopped performing basic hygiene tasks, such as bathing, changing his or her clothes, or brushing his or her teeth, speak with his or her doctor about this issue. The doctor might suggest a brain scan or recommend an appointment with a mental health specialist.
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 in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Repeating Questions
Everyone repeats themselves at one time or another, but this behavior shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. When aging adults have more serious memory issues, such as those that occur during the early stages of dementia, they often forget questions they recently asked and the answers they received, and they might tell the same stories over and over again. Repetition isn’t necessarily the result of a serious health condition, but you should monitor your loved one for signs this symptom is getting worse.
3. Difficulty Handling Basic Finances
Even though math can be challenging for older adults, your loved one shouldn’t suddenly lose the ability to do the simple arithmetic necessary to manage his or her finances. Having difficulty tracking finances is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, and you might need to step in to protect your loved one’s savings. If your loved one is diagnosed with a dementia-related disorder, consider assigning someone to manage his or her finances in the coming years.
4. Getting Lost in Familiar Places
Most seniors should be able to remember how to navigate to and from familiar places, such as the grocery store, their friends’ homes, and their favorite restaurants. However, if a senior has more serious cognitive impairment, he or she might get lost while running errands or even in his or her own home. Getting lost can be dangerous for your loved one, and you’ll likely need to hire an in-home caregiver in the near future.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Pembroke Pines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
5. Poor Judgment
A senior who usually carefully weighs his or her options shouldn’t suddenly start forgetting how to make basic life decisions. Many dementia-related disorders can damage the brain lobes that allow people to make rational decisions and adhere to societal norms. Some seniors with dementia fall for scams, while others spend money on frivolous items they don’t need.
6. Inability to Follow Directions
Following directions requires multiple areas of the brain to work at the same time. When one of those areas becomes damaged and causes severe memory issues, following simple instructions could become difficult. If your loved one has a condition that’s more serious than minor age-related memory loss, he or she might no longer be able to follow a recipe or meet at a specific time without getting confused.
Seniors living with age-related cognitive issues such as dementia can benefit from professional in-home care. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Pembroke Pines, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. If you need professional care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (954) 374-8273.