Many adults experience some memory loss and depression as they grow older. Depending on what’s happening in their lives (such as the death of a loved one, an illness, a change of residence or stress), this can be quite normal.
What is Dementia?
Dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, are progressive, irreversible, degenerative and not treatable. Most commonly, dementia is not diagnosed until more than one brain function (in other words two or more) is affected such as language, memory, emotional behavior, judgment and/or personality.
Loss of functioning in dementia progresses slowly and can include decreased problem solving abilities, poor language skills, severe memory loss, complete disorientation, withdrawal from social interaction and difficulty with even the most ordinary of daily activities.
Symptoms of Dementia:
- Loss of short term memory (gets progressively worse)
- Inability to concentrate
- Decreased problem solving skills
- Decreased capability for judgment
- Unable to recognize familiar objects
- Sleeping less or more, night waking (if not a normal pattern)
- Inability to recognize familiar people or places
- Difficulty with time
- Persistent repeating of phrases
- Change in personality
- Difficulty with calculation (math, money)
If you believe your friend or loved one is experiencing several of these symptoms, you can call LifeWorks NW Older Adult Services at 503-641-1475 for an assessment or please contact another health care professional.