Everyone experiences moments of forgetfulness from time to time. As we get older these moments may even occur more frequently than when we were young. Understandably, this causes many people to wonder if it’s just a sign of normal aging or something more serious like dementia. If you’ve ever wondered how to tell normal aging from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, this post will show you what to look for.

How to Tell Normal Aging From Alzheimer’s

Normal, age-related memory loss may include the following symptoms:

  • Occasional trouble finding the right words
  • Occasionally forgetting details or events
  • Forgetting the name of a casual acquaintance
  • Inability to recall details of a conversation after a long period of time

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may include the following symptoms:

  • Constant or frequent difficulty finding the right words; lengthy pauses in conversation
  • More frequent trouble remembering details or events
  • Forgetting the names of family members and close friends; inability to recognize loved ones
  • Forgetting the details of recent events and conversations after a short period of time
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
  • Confusion with time and place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships

Normal Aging vs Dementia: Beyond the Symptoms

Now that you understand how the common symptoms of dementia differ from those of normal, age-related memory loss, let’s explore in more detail how these two conditions may impact a person’s quality of life.

Normal Aging

Aging is a completely natural process and it doesn’t mean your quality of life has to change. With normal aging the things that impact your quality of life such as socializing, hobbies or passions and fulfillment are still present. You might not be able to do as much as you used to, but the core of what brings you joy is still there. For example, you might forget the recipe for your favorite meal, but once you start cooking it comes back to you.

If you’re wondering how to tell normal aging from Alzheimer’s this simple question about your quality of life can help. Is it significantly impacting your daily life? While it’s not ideal to wake up with a sore back or having trouble remembering a password, these minor frustrations of aging won’t stop you from enjoying life.

Quality of Life and Dementia

Dementia can have a drastic impact on a person’s quality of life, but it’s important to note that people with this disease can still experience pleasure and satisfaction. Think of the effects of normal aging as a mere nuisance and the effects of dementia as a life-altering change. With that being said, people living with this disease are still able to find joy and meaning life but in different ways.

With dementia, the support system you put in place has a large impact on quality of life. Quality of life isn’t lost once someone is diagnosed with dementia. Though without the proper support it’s common for people to slip into isolation and depression. While it may be a little more difficult, knowing what quality of life means for someone with dementia goes a long way. From there you or a senior living community can create opportunities for their personality to be expressed through what interests them.

Memory Support at Western Home Communities

Everyone experiences moments of forgetfulness as we age, but with advanced dementia the quality of life has to be the central focus of care. The goal for dementia care should be to provide a sense of fulfillment and well-being.

At Western Home Communities our memory support fosters emotional connections and active engagement in daily life. To learn more about normal aging vs. dementia or our memory support services, contact us today.