Forgetfulness can often be associated with aging. How do you decipher this natural sign of aging from the more serious symptoms of dementia? Let us take a look at some of the warning signs that may indicate that your aging parent needs memory care soon.
- Getting lost. As dementia worsens, it can be common for a person to get lost on routine routes of travel, such as going to and from the grocery store. Your parent may tell you that this happened, but it is more likely that this will exhibit itself in other forms, such as your parent not going to the store, due to fear, which may even present as weight loss from not having food. If something seems off, it is important to pay attention to what may really be going on.
- Not showing up in routine places. If your parent attends church every Sunday or regularly meets friends for coffee and you hear that your parent has not been showing up, this may be a sign of forgetfulness or difficulty managing time, both of which can be signs of worsening dementia.
- Financial issues. As the symptoms of dementia worsen, it can become more difficult for the person to handle financial affairs. This may result in your parent forgetting to make a payment, resulting in having a utility turned off or bill collectors calling.
- Agitation. Memory loss and confusion can be frightening and may present in agitation, such as snapping at a person or yelling. The fear and loss of control can escalate with the dementia and may even become physical. Any of these symptoms may warrant further investigation. Along the same lines, individuals who suffer from advanced dementia typically become more restless or agitated at the end of the day as the sun goes down. This is known as sundowning. This could present in many forms, such as the inability to sit still, rocking back and forth, or calling for help.
It can be difficult to determine when further care is warranted. A good course of action is to be aware of the symptoms and if you see them in your parent, discuss them with your parent’s physician to decide whether memory care is indicated for your parent. For assistance with long-term care planning and related legal issues, our office is here to help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.