Is It Normal Aging or Alzheimer’s?

Many people worry about being forgetful, and tend to jump to conclusions that something could be wrong with them. Studies have shown, that 50% of people over the age of 80 experience some sort of memory loss due to natural aging. Of course, it’s important to learn the difference between symptoms of normal forgetfulness and if you have early onset Alzheimer’s. 

  • Having mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging. Forgetting simple things, like where you left your car keys is nothing to worry about. If you start to feel like you have serious memory problems, such as forgetting important dates or names of close relatives, it could be a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • With normal aging, it’s typical to:
    • Forget to pay a monthly payment.
    • Forgetting what day of the week it is, then remembering later.
    • Making a bad decision every once in a while.
    • Forgetting words to use – hey, we aren’t always a walking Thesaurus.
    • Misplacing items, such as the TV remote that always disappears.
  • Alzheimer’s disease shows different types of symptoms, such as:
    • Poor judgment calls and making bad decisions more frequently.
    • Not understanding how to or take care of a monthly bill.
    • Not knowing what season we’re in, or even the year.
    • Trouble following or having a conversation.
    • Misplacing many things and not being able to find them.

Confusion is often a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Such as forgetting where you love or how you got home. This could become potentially dangerous, especially if we have older parents. Normal aging is more about being unsure. You might get confused about the day of the week, but can remember later. If you ever feel like you are lost or forgot where you are, make sure you have a way to contact a loved one for help.

Changes in mood are a sign of Alzheimer’s. If you feel easily upset, especially when you are out of your comfort zone, you could find yourself having personality swings. Being easily irritated is normal for the aging, especially the younger generations. 

As we get older, our memories can change. Forgetting part of an experience is a normal part of aging. Forgetting the whole experience could be a potential symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Sometimes your family can give you hints when they think it’s time to see a professional. If you continue to ask the same question over and over again, after being told the answer – a loved one might bring this up. They may also seem concerned about how you take care of yourself, or handling certain tasks. Listen to your loved ones – they may see more of what could be happening from the outside.

Although forgetfulness is a normal part of the aging process, it’s important not to ignore signs or symptoms that may concern you. Have a talk with your doctor to discuss what could be a potential issue, and learn how you can help keep your mind active and healthy.

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