Absentminded or Alzheimer’s?

by Lois Etienne on November 7, 2011

in Alzheimer's and Dementia,Caregiver Support,Senior Health and Safety

I’ve always been told that I can be absentminded. Early in my life I worried about it some but one day I realized that my grandmother was lucky if she had to remember a seven-digit phone number where I have at least a dozen ten-digit phone and fax numbers I keep in my brain…along with close to a dozen addresses, LOTS of names, daily appointments (conference calls, vet appointments, newletter deadlines, etc.) and it goes on and on….

Spokane_WA_senior_womanPart of why I bring this up is because I didn’t blog this past week BUT it was not because I forgot. Let’s just say life got in the way. But there is a difference between forgetting because your brain is too full versus a symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease, a progressive form of dementia that affects approximately 5.4 million people.

When people start to indicate that they are forgetting information that is important to them or those close to them see a consistent change where they are forgetting things they normally would not have forgotten, then this deserves further attention. The biggest sign would be one’s ability to carry out daily functions, like handling your finances, or you are getting disoriented when driving old familiar routes to the grocery store. Another sign could be your change in ability to sit through a two-hour TV movie.

If you or a loved one feel like your daily activities and routines have changed to accommodate your forgetfulness, consider a medical evaluation. Early detection and treatment can help maintain short term memory abilities longer. And I will get back to writing my blogs regularly!

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