Most of us know that there is such a thing as normal age-related memory loss. However, given that memory-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are becoming more prevalent, it is important to note the difference between what is normal, and what might be cause for concern.
What is normal?
According to a number of studies, around 40 percent of the people over the age of 65 are going to experience some form of memory loss. This is referred to as “age-associated memory impairment” and there are no exacerbating medical issues behind it. This is considered the result of normal aging. However, something quite different happens with the many different types of dementia.
Distinguish age-associated memory impairment from dementia
These are some factors that should help you distinguish between what age-associated memory impairment may cause, and what you could attribute to dementia:
- Your relatives are not concerned about your memory, but you are
- You sometimes find it difficult to find words when talking or writing
- You cannot immediately recall the name of an acquaintance
- You are unable to remember details relating to an event or conversation that took place some time ago
- You may not be aware that you are having issues, but family and loved ones repeatedly tell you that they are concerned about your memory
- When trying to find words, you have frequent pauses and substitutions
- You do not recognize or know the names of family members and loved ones
- You are unable to recall details of recent events or conversations
Tips for managing normal age-related memory challenges
While many people may struggle with some form of normal age-related memory issues, these are a few things that you could do to ensure that you experience fewer problems:
- Make sure that you study things related to brain health
- Make sure to get a full night’s sleep regularly
- Teach others, transfer your information
- Make associations and involve your senses, like sound and sight
- Repeat information for yourself
- Make sure to put recurring use items in the same spot
- Organize events and information with a day planner
- Keep a routine