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Signs Of Normal Aging Vs Dementia

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Assisted Living

Assisted Living

Most of us might be familiar with the physical challenges presented by aging. This can include aching joints, skin changes, increased risk of falls, etc. Aging can also affect the way we think and learn as the brain can shrink and might not be able to understand new information. The changes in the brain can affect memory and thinking, making it difficult for an elderly person to master new skills. Nonetheless, these changes can be subtle and memory gaps or slips can occur to people of all ages. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between the signs of normal aging and dementia to ensure healthy aging and to plan for the future.

The major differences between dementia and normal aging, shared by experts in assisted living and memory care facilities can help you distinguish between the two and ensure proper care for your senior loved one.

Comparing Normal Aging With Dementia 

As per the statistics, about 40% of people above the age of 65 years encounter some variation of memory loss. A general decline in mental function, called mild cognitive impairment, is common in people as they age. This can be a risk factor for dementia, meaning that cognitive decline due to aging may also turn into something else with time. Consequently, proper monitoring of your senior loved ones has to be given utmost importance.

Some of the common signs of mild cognitive impairment are discussed below.

  • Difficulty in recollecting details of conversations of events that occurred before a long time.
  • Forgetting appointments or names, and remembering them at a later time.
  • Difficulty in finding words occasionally.
  • Losing things occasionally.
  • Thoughtless decisions or bad judgments occasionally.
  • Slightly slow reaction time.
  • Changes in vision due to aging, like cloudy vision due to cataracts.
  • Becoming more and more strict about a routine but ability to function even when the routine is obstructed.

Some signs of more serious cognitive decline like dementia are discussed below.

  • Inability to remember a more recent event or conversation.
  • Inability to remember or learn new information.
  • Language issues like struggling to have a conversation due to problems in finding words.
  • Withdrawn or apathetic.
  • Making frequent pauses while talking.
  • Forgetting the names of familiar persons.
  • A high decline in reaction times, which can affect driving, or the ability to recover from a fall.
  • Problems with depth perception or vision, which can make it arduous for the senior to traverse the world.
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