When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Worry About Memory Loss

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Memory Lapses Considered Normal for Seniors

By Carolina Orosa, 9:00 am on

Memory lapses happen throughout every stage of life, yet they take on new meaning in the senior years. Forgotten names, misplaced keys, and missed appointments are common events that can cause needless worry for those who are concerned about developing a form of memory impairment. While these events are annoying, leading Vancouver Alzheimer’s care professionals note that the majority of memory lapses are completely normal for the majority of senior adults.

Types of Memory Lapses

Although memory lapses may all seem the same, they can actually be divided into several categories, and understanding the causes of your loved one’s memory lapses can help ease your mind (and his or hers). The main types of memory lapses include:

  • Absentmindedness – not focusing on the moment
  • Blocking – another memory interfering with retrieval
  • Fade out – clearing out old memories to make space for new ones
  • Scrambling – remembering most of an event but confusing certain details
  • Retrieval – forgetting recent information, like the name of a new acquaintance

When to Worry

If you provide elder home care in Vancouver for an aging parent, there is typically no need to worry about memory lapses unless they are increasing in frequency, causing problems with everyday functioning, or are accompanied by confusion and/or disorientation. Severe memory loss places a senior’s health and safety at risk, and it often becomes noticeable to others. Confusion, frustration and anger may also occur as a senior reacts emotionally to being less capable of functioning independently.

Protecting Memory

Memory lapses, even those considered normal, can be frustrating at any age. Fortunately, there are things your loved one can do to protect memory. Focusing on the moment and mindful meditation are great ways to start noticing important details that can help jog memory. Brain games, either with pen and paper or electronically, have been shown to effectively boost memory. And simply staying engaged with others on a regular basis can give your elderly relative a mental boost that will enhance his or her memory.

If your senior loved one seems more forgetful than normal and you’re concerned about his or her safety, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to providing around-the-clock safety monitoring and helping with tasks that can be dangerous, like driving and cooking, every caregiver has been expertly trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally stimulating activities to slow cognitive decline. For more information, call 778-279-3634 and request a free consultation.