Some cognitive decline may be a part of the normal aging process, but confusion, memory loss, and other behaviors could be a sign of dementia. There are several different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s being just one of them.
When we first started noticing her memory loss, we thought it was just “old age.” But soon we found it went way beyond that. She was 74 years young; sharp as a tack. Soon she began putting the dishrags in the freezer, she was afraid to go upstairs to use the bathroom, and forgetting names. -Susan, Personal story, Alzheimer’s Association
You may be wondering…
- Are these changes a normal process of aging?
- Is physician intervention appropriate at this time?
- What if my loved one is afraid to involve a health care professional?
What should you expect during this stage?
You may begin to notice changes in your loved one’s memory, and thinking, but they may or may not affect daily life activities. For example, you may notice that they:
- Have difficulty performing more than one task at a time.
- Have difficulty solving complex problems or making decisions.
- Forget recent events or conversations.
- Take longer to perform more difficult mental activities such as using the computer.
It is likely that your loved one is concerned but may not discuss it. Other friends and family may or may not see or notice any changes.