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Normal Aging vs Dementia

Side effects of normal aging can differ for each individual. Commonly, as we age we experience diminishing vision, we often forget names or appointments, misplace items like keys and cell phones, and become irritated when routines are interrupted or plans fall through.

On the flip side of these normal aspects of aging are the abnormal side effects that can be classified as symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

An abnormal sign that you or a loved one may have dementia is struggling with visual images and spatial judgements, says “For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room.”

People suffering from dementia can struggle greatly with time and place confusion. They may lose track of the year and the place in which they are living. They can forget where they are and how they got there, which is the source of many problems with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life is one of the more widely known side effects of the disease and is indicative of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information repetitively, and relying on the help of others and memory aides to get through a normal day.

Drastic changes in personality and temperament can be attributed to dementia as well. If your loved one was once a social, upbeat person and suddenly become more reclusive, withdrawing from activities they once loved, you may need to contact your physician.

If your loved one is experiencing these drastic changes that can be attributed to Alzheimer’s or dementia, it may be time for you to seek help. The Alzheimer’s Alliance offers FREE MONTHLY MEMORY SCREENINGS for anyone who is concerned about memory loss. While these screening are not a diagnosis they can tell you if you should seek further attention from a physician. Screenings take place on the 2nd Thursday of each month, please call the Alzheimer’s Alliance at 903.223.8021 to make your appointment.

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