Senior moments happen to the best of us.
Those momentary memory lapses as we age that can happen from day to day.
- Misplacing your glasses.
- Forgetting the day of the week.
- Trouble recalling someone’s name.
- Losing your car keys or cell phone.
So is that just part of getting older or a sign you (or your loved one) may have Alzheimer’s?
As we age, it’s pretty typical to become increasingly forgetful. In fact, at least half of those over 65 report becoming more forgetful than when they were younger.
So, if you’re forgetting things from time to time, it’s likely no big deal.
When Senior Moments Become a Cause for Concern
When it becomes a concern is related to the degree or frequency you or a loved one forget things.
Forgetting to pay a bill every now and then isn’t a big deal (though the person you owe the money to may disagree!). But… not taking care of monthly bills on a regular basis is cause for concern.
Trouble recalling someone’s name or finding the right word every now and then is normal. But… trouble having a conversation is not.
Occasionally misplacing things – while frustrating – happens to most of us. But… frequently losing things and not being able to find them might be a sign of Alzheimer’s.
To sum up…
If forgetfulness happens occasionally and you can remember them, it’s likely a “senior moment”.
Typically someone with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia will experience…
- An increased frequency and intensity of forgetfulness.
- Not remembering these forgetfulness episodes.
- Others noticing your (or your loved one’s) increasing forgetfulness.
- These episodes affecting the performance of your daily activities.
With any or all of the above, it would be a good idea to get a full medical exam.
Know What You’re Dealing With
Many Alzheimer’s-like symptoms can actually be the result of treatable disorders. And, in some cases, these symptoms can be halted or even reversed. However, no treatment can be prescribed until there is an accurate diagnosis.
Doctors have gotten pretty good at accurately diagnosing Alzheimer’s. They typically do evaluations by reviewing a patient’s medical history and conducting a series of specialized tests. Using these methods, doctors have around a 90% success rate in diagnosing Alzheimer’s.
So if you have some random senior moments, you can likely chalk that up to normal aging. With more frequent or severe episodes, it’d be a good idea to get assessed by a doctor to see if they are signs of Alzheimer’s.