My father’s memory isn’t near what it used to be. How will I know if it’s dementia, as opposed to just getting on in years?

My father’s memory isn’t near what it used to be. How will I know if it’s dementia, as opposed to just getting on in years?

  • On November 24, 2015

Keep in mind that some degree of memory loss is normal with aging. It goes with the territory. To be considered dementia, symptoms need to affect more than one area of brain function significantly enough to interfere with everyday life. Memory loss is a common example, as you’ve noticed – your loved one may have difficulties forming new memories. Communication is another key area. Your father may experience challenges in processing speech and language- finding the right words. Changes in mood are common: depression, apathy, or a change in personality. He may be confused, or be challenged in his sense of direction and spatial orientation. He may experience a decline in judgment – his ability to consider facts and come to a reasonable conclusion.

 

You may be in a good position to observe and monitor subtle changes such as these in your loved one. It’s also a good idea to talk with your father’s doctor and share your concerns.