Dementia is a general term that is used to describe when one’s cognitive function has started to decline. It can cause problems with memory, thinking, social abilities, and decision-making. There are a few symptoms that are signs of dementia but one that is very common among those is forgetfulness. Everyone forgets things, but for these individuals, it happens consistently with things that are very familiar to them.
Is it normal forgetfulness?
We all forget things here and there, but for those with dementia, it becomes a serious concern. They will begin to forget things such as appointments, events, locations, and people. These types of things may seem like normal things to forget once in a while. Those that are struggling with dementia, will be forgetting these types of things consistently. It becomes more apparent as the things they are forgetting should be very familiar to them. They could forget where their home is, the names of their children, or even forget who their spouse is. Asking the same questions repeatedly is another sign of forgetfulness. In the beginning, these kinds of scenarios may not be often. If you have any concerns with a loved one’s memory, talk to their doctor. Forgetting things happens to everyone, but if it occurs too often it can be a cause for concern.
How to Help Forgetfulness
If forgetfulness is happening in one’s life, there are things that can be done to help their memory.
Creating some kind of routine can be beneficial. This means that they do things in a certain way each day to help their body and mind create habits. It could be something as simple as putting their keys and wallet in the same spot each day.
Use calendars to remind them of upcoming events and appointments that they are needing to attend. Notes and lists can help prevent forgetting items at the grocery store, etc.
Developing a new skill, getting exercise, and eating well are all contributors to helping the mind and body. These types of activities stimulate the brain.
There is nothing that can completely stop dementia, but these kinds of things can potentially slow down the process and help them keep their freedom as long as possible.
When to Visit the Doctor
There is a wide range of forgetfulness, for some, it will be just forgetting appointments and events. As it gets more severe, they can be putting themselves in danger if they can’t remember how to get to their home. Visiting a doctor is beneficial regardless of the severity. A doctor will be able to help determine the cause of the forgetfulness. Along with the cause, their doctor will give information on the next steps and how often they would like to follow up with them to check in on their symptoms.
Dangers of Forgetfulness
It can be troubling to watch their forgetfulness get worse. As the occurrences increase, it can also become worrisome. It is a cause for concern when they are forgetting how to get home, wander aimlessly, and forget to do daily tasks such as eating. Forgetting these things can be dangerous to their well-being. As dementia gets worse, they become more of a danger to themselves. It is vital that they get the help they need, whether that is in a memory care facility, or living with a family member. Their safety should be the top concern as they go through the mental changes of dementia.