What’s considered normal when it comes to forgetfulness? Truth time: Have you gone to the pantry and forgotten what you were looking for? Do you struggle with remembering your new neighbors’ names? After you talk to someone about Alzheimer’s, do you privately wonder if you are heading down that slippery slope? There’s something about talking about Alzheimer’s that makes us question our own memory capabilities and how sharp we still are. The good news is that forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, and whether we like it or not, we are all getting older each day. The key is determining the difference between mild forgetfulness and a serious memory problem that may indicate Alzheimer’s. Here’s some help distinguishing the two paths, with help from the National Institute on Aging:
Normal brain aging means occasional poor decision making; missing a monthly bill payment; struggling to find the right word; misplacing or losing things once in a while.
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease are: Frequently making poor decisions and judgments; problems managing monthly bill payments; losing awareness of the day, month, year, time of day; difficulty conversing; often misplacing objects and not being able to find them.
The essential lesson here is this: If you have concerns about your memory slipping or changing, talk to your primary health care provider.