3936 S. FM 620 RD Austin, Texas 78738

Map & Directions



Text +

The Difference Between Normal Forgetfulness and Dementia

How To Handle Memory Loss and Aging

During the aging process, it’s typical for people to experience slight changes in their cognitive abilities over time, which may mean more instances of forgetfulness or other signs memory loss. If you notice a decline in spontaneous word finding (taking longer to get words out) and a reduced ability to multi-task, this could be part of normal aging. These examples could be occurring because the speed with which information is processed gradually slows down with age, resulting in a delay in recalling names, dates or events that happened in the past, and are generally nothing to worry about.

However, other memory loss issues could be related to dementia. For instance, not being able to recall recent details of an event can indicate the beginning of some cognitive deficits. Causes for concern include frequently misplacing objects, not knowing the name of objects, forgetting names and places without recall, having difficulty using the right words or becoming lost in familiar surroundings.

Could Your Loved One Be Showing Signs Of Dementia?

It can often be difficult for those experiencing memory issues to recognize their problems while others around them are concerned about the changes – while an older adult experiencing normal forgetfulness or “senior moments” generally is aware of their own lack of recall. Most memory issues develop gradually, worsening over time, so keep in mind that if a sudden change in memory loss occurs, it could be related to another medical condition which may need immediate attention.

Generally, experts recommend when memory loss prevents someone from performing daily tasks and accustomed roles in life, they should consult a physician for further evaluation. Since dementia is a clinical diagnosis, a clinician needs to merge all of the information from the patient examination, family history, lab results and brain scans in order to make a diagnosis.

You can watch your loved ones for the following signs, which could be indicators of dementia:

  • Disheveled appearance or grooming
  • Neglected hygiene or cleanliness
  • Increase in incontinence
  • Trouble with food preparation
  • Changes in appetite and food preferences
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Loss of reasoning and judgment skills
  • Problems with managing finances
  • Stacks of mail and unpaid bills
  • Unwatered or overwatered plants
  • Pets being neglected or overfed/underfed
  • Lack of interest in friends or activities
  • Forgetfulness or loss of short-term memory
  • Differences in sleep habits
  • Depression
  • Inability to safely manage medications
  • Wandering

If your loved one is showing several of the above signs, you should consider seeking help from medical professionals. If additional assistance is needed for memory loss issues, you can begin researching various options to find the best fit for your family. At Longleaf Bee Cave, we’ll work with your family to determine if dementia care is the best option for the health, safety and future well-being of your loved one.