Of all the different signs and conditions that we associate with aging, cognitive decline may be the most unnerving, and it’s easy to see why. Having a relative that is dealing with cognitive decline not only poses a potential safety hazard, but it can derail plans for later in life and become a massive lifestyle change that everyone needs to adapt to. One thing to understand, though, is that in some cases, a slight bit of memory loss when getting older doesn’t mean that you instantly need to look up memory car in Saginaw, or its equivalent wherever you may live.
So, what is the difference between typical memory lapses with aging and serious issues that need your attention? For starters, general lapses include seniors getting distracted on occasion, or not being able to recall an exact conversation, but being able to get the basic point of it. Confusing the name of one person or another or having a moment when something is on the tip of your tongue falls under this general umbrella.
Chances are that you probably have this happen plenty at any age, and this may just get more common as you get older. As a family member or friend, this generally means seniors can still have independent lives, but you may want to provide a little bit of added support every now and again. When things progress to the next stage is when you start seeing issues like a person not being able to show basic cognitive skills, having disrupted normal behavior, or starting to have trouble performing basic activities.
While the advent of this more concerning stage can be difficult to deal with, it’s important to understand that a lot of people are also dealing with these same issues, around ten million each year, to be exact. Cognitive decline versus traditional memory loss stems from the fact that the former is a degenerative disease, and smaller incidents end up becoming larger ones. In some cases, it won’t be clear that dementia is setting in until around the middle stages, like forgetting events that happened recently, being unable to communicate properly, or being lost in familiar surroundings.
At this point, the next step of your action should be taking your loved one to a medical professional to see exactly what type of help they need. Generally, the first person to see is a primary doctor, as they have access to things like family history, medications, and medical history, and will generally also chart what abilities have been lost and what symptoms have happened recently. From there, you may be referred to several different specialists. The recommendations you get from these professionals will help guide you towards what is best for your loved one, be it pursuing skilled nursing care in Saginaw, or another option depending on your situation.