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Aging or Alzheimer’s? How to Spot the Difference

Memory issues can be a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but are also a common side effect of aging. It may not always be easy to differentiate between what’s normal and what’s not. 

Individuals experiencing memory problems can display a variety of symptoms from cognitive function to behavioral responses. Pay close attention if you notice your loved one is experiencing problems focusing, difficulties communicating, or drastic changes in their personality. 

Keeping track of the small changes can make it easier to decide if it’s time to seek a professional evaluation or consult with a healthcare provider.

Significant Differences Between Similar Behaviors

If you’re having trouble identifying if your loved one is experiencing a decrease in memory function or just experiencing natural side effects of getting older, here are some examples of common behavioral differences between aging and Alzheimer’s.

Normal aging may involve:

  • Making a poor decision
  • Experiencing occasional confusion
  • Missing a payment
  • Forgetting the date
  • Having trouble finding the right word in a conversation
  • Misplacing common items
  • Forgetting an appointment or social plan

Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may involve:

  • Making poor decisions repeatedly
  • Experiencing frequent confusion
  • Having trouble managing money on a regular basis
  • Losing track of days or years
  • Struggling with basic communication
  • Constantly losing important items
  • Consistently missing appointments or social events

Willow River is Here to Help

At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 to start the conversation today.