5 Signs Your Elderly Parent May Have Dementia
Occasional forgetfulness is a natural occurrence at any age. Misplacing keys or temporarily forgetting the name of an acquaintance can happen to anyone. Dementia isn’t just forgetfulness. Persistent memory loss, a diminishing quality of self-care, a lack of interest in appearance, confusion and depression can all be signs that your elderly parent may have dementia.
Beyond occasional forgetfulness, memory loss can be an indicator of dementia. Short-term memory loss includes not being able to remember activities from the previous day. Long-term memory loss includes forgetting the names of close family members. Forgetfulness is not a regular symptom of aging. If your parent is experiencing progressive memory issues, dementia may be the culprit.
Has your mom or dad started to let his or her appearance slip? If your parent no longer dresses in the natty way he or she used to, it may be another indicator of dementia. As cognitive function becomes impaired, your parent’s ability to carry out simple activities like dressing may be diminished.
Beyond dressing, is your parent having difficulty remembering to bath or eat regularly? People with dementia can have difficulty with basic self-care. Even with reminders like calendars and pill cases, if your dad is forgetting his meds, he may have dementia. Reminders don’t mean anything if he can’t understand what they are for. Your mom may not realize how long it’s been since she’s bathed or even always understand that she should. Unlike forgetfulness, dementia robs the brain of the understanding necessary to carry out simple tasks.
Does your parent seem confused each time you visit or call? Perhaps your dad doesn’t know what day of the week it is or your mom doesn’t remember a recent conversation she had with you. Confusion can be a sign of dementia. If your mom is losing the ability to differentiate between days of the week or sometimes doesn’t recognize people she sees regularly, she may be experiencing dementia.
Everyone can get occasionally depressed; your elderly parents are no exception. It is not unusual for your mom or dad to sometimes become depressed over loss of friends or diminishing physical ability. Talking with your parents about this type of depression can help them weather these changes. If your dad seems sad because he can no longer complete the crossword puzzle easily, he may be experiencing dementia-related depression. Your mom’s depression may be caused by dementia if she’s constantly upset by what she knows she should remember but can’t.
If your elderly parent is exhibiting some of these signs of dementia, visit this website to learn more about dementia care in Soquel.
Emily advises people on health and senior care. You can find her thoughts at Tumblr blog