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How to differentiate between normal forgetfulness and Dementia

2021-Oct-30 Anamika Pandey

Forgetting little things every now and then is a common part of our life. Thanks to technology, we now have methods to keep these ‘slips of mind’ in check - whether it is by putting calendar reminders or using notes on our phones. There are also simpler ways to remember important things such as keeping sticky notes handy around the house.

But as we start to age, forgetfulness can become more frequent. You might forget to pay your electricity bill on the due date or forget where you kept your reading glasses. And while these instances are a normal part of the ageing process, there are some symptoms that may become a cause of concern, pointing to a bigger underlying condition, such as dementia

What is Dementia and how do you diagnose it?
Dementia is a broader group of symptoms that people experience when their brain undergoes some level of damage. Sometimes brain infections or blood clots can trigger Dementia, by causing a decline in someone’s mental or cognitive abilities. Things like reasoning and thinking also take a hit, alongside a more severe form of memory loss.

One cannot diagnose Dementia on their own, but if forgetfulness starts to impact basic, daily activities, it is best to consult a doctor to confirm diagnosis. Some of the ways in which Dementia exhibits itself are when people start having problems such as getting lost in familiar places, having difficulty managing basic instructions, asking the same questions over and over again, becoming confused about time, places and people, or even not being able to bathe or dress normally.

If your loved one starts showing symptoms that are unusual for their age, or more severe than you expect them to be, it is good to head to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will then prescribe medication, or other forms of treatment that can make the situation better.

What separates Dementia from normal forgetfulness?
The symptoms of both might seem similar, but there are subtle differences that will help you understand the right time to seek medical help. For instance, if your aging parent forgets their appointments or names of someone, but remembers it afterwards, it is completely normal. But if they forget close family members or friends, or even the events of the past one hour, then it could be a cause of concern.

With Dementia, problem-solving skills can take a major hit. Your loved ones could be having a particularly hard time concentrating on tasks, managing simple things like bills, or even reading and comprehension issues. With normal forgetfulness, people tend to get a little slow in dealing with tasks, or reacting to situations.

Another sign of Dementia could be problems with language. If your senior family member frequently finds it difficult to search for the right words, have extreme trouble following conversations, or ‘zone out’ often, you may want to get them evaluated by a psychologist. Visual orientation also becomes a big problem for those with Dementia as they tend to get lost often, even in familiar surroundings, and have difficulties with perceiving patterns or objects.

Seeking the right care
It can become difficult to care for senior family members if they face serious memory issues. In that case, they require assistance that goes beyond just providing for them; they need a safe and reliable environment that helps them recuperate and manage their day-to-day activities on their behalf.

At Antara Care Homes, we understand that it can become difficult to be at your loved one’s assistance 24*7. Which is why we become your trusted medical partners. Our Memory Care services promise not just clinical excellence, but also state-of-the-art infrastructure, customised therapies to cater to cognitive needs, specially trained caregivers, and regular medical counselling for seniors and their families. Moreover, our ecosystem provides care, companionship and comfort to recuperating seniors, offering them exceptional primary health care and emergency response services, curated engagement calendars and nutritionally assisted meals in a homely environment to promote holistic wellness and healing.

To learn more about Antara’s Care Home services, get in touch with us at (+91) 98114-41111.