When a senior lives alone, the early signs of memory loss can be surprisingly difficult to identify, so you must know what to keep an eye out for. Call, but also visit your aging friends and relatives on a regular basis—because identifying memory loss in person is always easier.
Misplacing Household Items
One of the reasons memory loss is often diagnosed well into its progression, is because we can easily find a way to justify the changes that we don’t want to accept. While we all misplace household items on occasion, such as our keys or smartphone, if your loved one is placing items in increasingly odd places—then their memory may be declining. If you aren’t able to visit often, a quick peek in cupboards and drawers can help you to determine if there is a change.
Forgetting the Day-To-Day Essentials
Sure, we can all confuse the date or day of the week from time-to-time, but if forgetting the daily essentials has become a regular occurrence—it may be one of the early signs of memory loss. This not only includes forgetting the date and time, but other essentials such as:
- Grooming, bathing, and getting dressed
- What time to eat, or when they last ate
- Forgetting standing weekly appointments
- Being surprised when you arrive, even though you let them know you’d be visiting
Using the Wrong Word
If you find that your loved one is using the wrong word when describing something, it may be one of the early signs of memory loss. This could be as simple as calling someone by the wrong name, not being able to recall the name of someone they have known for a long time, or confusing everyday items or objects—such as calling a cat a horse.
Changes in Mood May be a Sign Of Early Memory Loss
Yes, mood and personality can certainly change as we age, but often, it is a sign that something is of concern. This could include loneliness and depression, but memory loss could also be the culprit. If you find your loved one to be suspicious, anxious, less patient, or grumpier than usual, it could be a sign their memory loss is leaving them a bit confused.
It can be easy to explain away the signs above, but if your loved one is experiencing more than one or two of these signs, it is time to head in for an expert evaluation. For more early signs of memory loss, head over to the Alzheimer’s Association.