It’s normal for an older adult to forget where they put their keys, look all over their glasses then realize they’re wearing them or have trouble remembering someone’s name. But there comes a time when memory loss can be really scary and concerning.
In today’s episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I share 10 Memory Loss Warning Signs to let you know that you might want to start the conversation with your loved one about memory loss and make an appointment with their doctor for further evaluation.
Let me start by saying that there are common changes in the brain that come with age and growing older. And then there are changes with the brain that are not common and are more concerning.
I’ll discuss the difference between normal changes in the brain that happen with age versus when to be concerned about memory loss. I’ll also review the 10 memory loss warning signs to be looking out for with the older adults in your life.
Check out how this episode plays out…
- [02:41] Memory Loss Warning Sign #1: Memory Loss is the first warning sign. Here, I give examples of what sorts of things are normal to forget as we grow older and when to be concerned.
- [04:39] Memory Loss Warning Sign #2: Memory loss includes more than just memory changes, it can include this second warning sign-Challenges in planning or problem solving
- [05:18] Memory Loss Warning Sign #3: Are you noticing your loved one struggle with tasks that used to be easy for them? Like doing laundry or making dinner? These are examples of the third warning sign- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
- [06:01] Memory Loss Warning Sign #4: Confusion with time and place is a hallmark symptom of dementia and may be showing up with early signs of memory loss.
- [07:03] Memory Loss Warning Sign #5: This one may surprise you. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships is sometimes an early sign of a dementia disorder like Alzheimer’s Disease.
- [07:20] Memory Loss Warning Sign #6: Changes in communication, like speaking and writing can be an early memory loss warning sign.
- [10:28] Memory Loss Warning Sign #7: Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace your steps is another warning sign that could result in your loved one accusing you, or others, of stealing from them.
- [11:33] Memory Loss Warning Sign #8: We’re all entitled to making an unhealthy decision from time to time, but when this unhealthy decision is made from poor judgement and this is happening over and over, this can be concerning for memory loss or serious cognitive disorders.
- [12:49] Memory Loss Warning Sign #9: Withdrawal from work and activities could be a sign some changes are happening in the brain. On the other hand, this could be a sign of a treatable mental health condition. Either way, you’ll want to encourage your loved one to see their medical provider.
- [14:24] Memory Loss Warning Sign #10: changes in mood and personality can also be a sign of concerning changes in the brain, or a mental health condition.
By the end of this episode, you’ll understand the difference between normal changes in the brain that happen with age and when to be concerned about memory loss, and you’ll know 10 memory loss warning signs to be looking out for with the older adults in your life.
Links mentioned in this episode: