Senior woman and caregiver look at family photos to help combat normal forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, but that doesn’t make it any easier when you notice a decline in your loved one’s memory. Maybe they forget what day it is, misplace belongings often or struggle to manage their monthly expenses. These changes can be extremely jarring, especially if you don’t know if it’s normal forgetfulness or dementia. Understanding differences between the two can help you provide the appropriate support your loved one needs.

What is Dementia?

The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as “the general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.” Unlike common forgetfulness, dementia is not a normal part of aging. It also serves as an umbrella term that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. If your loved one is suffering from a form of dementia, they’ll experience cognitive decline that eventually interferes with their quality of life.

Challenges with short-term memory, forgetting appointments and losing track of their belongings often are all indications that your loved one should see their doctor. An official diagnosis from a doctor is the first step towards getting them the memory care support they need.

Dementia vs. Forgetfulness

If your loved one is showing signs of forgetfulness, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suffering from dementia. However, it’s crucial to your loved one’s health and wellness that you can differentiate between signs of normal aging and signs of dementia.

Signs of Normal Aging

Normal signs of aging include:

  • Missing a single monthly payment
  • Forgetting which day it is, but remembering it later
  • Sometimes forgetting which word to use when speaking
  • Occasionally losing or misplacing belongings

Signs of Dementia

As opposed to normal aging, dementia will manifest in a number of ways:

  • Making poor judgments and decisions often
  • Struggling to handle monthly bills
  • Losing track of the date or time of year
  • Having trouble with carrying on a conversation
  • Misplacing valuables often and being unable to find them

Personalized Memory Care for Your Loved One

When your loved one suffers from a memory impairment, you want to make sure they receive high quality memory care so that they can continue to live as fulfilling of a lifestyle as possible. At Fellowship Senior Living, we offer a state-of-the-art memory care program that follows a person-centered approach to memory support.

Our memory care community includes a specialized physical environment and organizational structure meant to give your loved one the calming atmosphere and structured routine they need. Memory care community residents have their own private suite and receive one-on-one attention from our certified dementia practitioner, registered dietitian, registered nurses and a variety of other specialists. In our secure, homelike environment, your loved one will have access to stimulating daily activities and nourishing interpersonal relationships for a greater sense of community and purpose.

Find Memory Care at Fellowship Senior Living

At Fellowship Senior Living, we offer innovative and personalized memory care on our beautiful campus located in Somerset County, New Jersey. We strive to provide memory care residents with the routine and enriching activities they need to live a relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle.

Contact us at 908-580-3824 to learn more about our customized memory care program, and the services and amenities we have available for your loved one.