Prompted by fear of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, many older adults panic the moment they start to forget names, lose things, or have trouble coming up with the right word. And while symptoms like these can be an early indicator of a serious problem, that’s not always the case. Know that a certain amount of memory loss is a normal part of healthy aging.
Simply put, memory loss begins to get concerning when it interferes with daily functioning. This could mean:
- An inability to perform ADLs (activities of daily living), like not being able to prepare a meal for oneself
- Suddenly struggling with directions and getting lost on familiar routes
- Lack of insight into the fact that there may be a problem
- General errors in judgment in a previously judicious person
There are hundreds of examples, but the result is the same in each of them: the ability to function day-to-day is being impacted.