Healthy aging and memory loss

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Memory loss is not a normal part of aging. Anyone who is experiencing cognitive changes may be afraid that the symptoms could be from Alzheimer’s disease and may find it easier to deny that there is a problem.  

Alzheimer’s isn’t the only cause of memory loss. That’s why it is so important to talk with your doctor. There are many reversible causes for the symptoms, such as a urinary tract infection, a vitamin B-12 deficiency or a side effect from medication.  

You’ll want to prepare for this visit and the Alzheimer’s Association suggests these helpful tips:
Document any changes in your health, including your mood, memory and behaviors.
Make a note of any changes you’ve noticed since your last appointment.
Create a list of current prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
Write down any vitamins or supplements you’ve added to your medication regimen.
Make a list of questions you want to ask.

How do you express your concerns to your aging parent?

Be honest and express your love and concern but avoid using terms such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Try saying something like, “Mom, I’ve noticed the last couple of times we talked that you repeated yourself and had trouble finding words. Have you seen your doctor lately? I am concerned and would feel better talking to your doctor about this.”