Home Care Blog>In Home Care | March 7, 2017
Memory Problems in Seniors | The first time a senior forgets where they put their purse, wallet, car keys, remote control, or other important object, they may wonder if they are starting to forget things. Others will simply write it off as a “senior moment”. If this sort of activity happens several other times, however, words like “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s disease” start to enter the senior’s mind. These can be very scary times.
While a certain percentage of memory problems are related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, these are not the only reasons that seniors have memory problems. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, “Memory loss can happen at any age and for a number of reasons.” The good news is that, unlike dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, many of the reasons for memory loss are actually treatable and reversible.
One of the main reasons seniors have trouble with their memory is related to medication. The average senior over the age of 65 takes between 8 and ten medications. Many of these drugs have side effects that impact memory, and the mix of the medications further complicates matters. Often, seniors who have a medication-based brain fog can see the reversal of this condition with an adjustment to their medications. The key, however, is early identification and good communication with the physicians. If your senior loved one receives senior care in Calgary, Comfort Keepers caregivers can help them with a medication management regimen that includes keeping a close watch on the memory.
Another reason many seniors face memory issues is a lack of sleep. Simply put, the brain does not function as well when it is tired as when it is rested. A common reason for sleep problems in seniors is sleep apnea. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins, sleep apnea does not just lead to fatigue and daytime naps, “It is linked to memory loss and dementia”.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep test. Comfort Keepers senior care in Calgary can help your senior loved one arrange a test, or – if they are unable to go to a sleep clinic – may be able to help with a home testing kit. If sleep apnea is discovered, caregivers can help with a bedtime routine that includes a CPAP device.
For many seniors, memory is challenged because of stress. There is simply too many things going on in the brain to keep them all straight. Stress-related memory problems are even more severe when linked with a lack of sleep. Finding ways to reduce stress is not just good for the memory, but it is also highly beneficial for a senior’s overall health.
In short, memory problems are not uncommon in seniors. Thankfully, there are many reasons for these issues other than chronic or irreversible illnesses and diseases.In many cases, a simple lifestyle modification or change in medication may be all that it takes to bring the memory back to normal. If your senior loved one has a memory problem, Comfort Keepers senior care can help.
If you are concerned about the safety of your aging loved ones, especially in regard to fire, we can help. While it’s important to rely on the expertise of licensed professionals for certain precautions, we can provide home safety assessments and ensure your loved ones’ environment is safe.
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