The Causes and Effects of Memory Loss in Seniors

Published: June 9, 2023 | Uncategorized

Memory Loss

When most people age, their brains slowly begin to degrade. Even a mild loss of cognitive function can lead to memory loss. For many people, mild memory loss is simply a nuisance. Others suffer from severe and debilitating memory loss. Knowing the causes and effects of memory loss is critical for seniors and their loved ones. 

Mild Changes in Memory Are Common

Most people experience mild memory loss occasionally. Even younger people can have mild episodes of forgetfulness due to being tired or stressed. When older adults suffer significant declines, they may need to seek care from senior living residences. The following are symptoms of mild cognitive decline in seniors.

  • Seniors may forget things they have always known, including people’s names. 
  • People will sometimes lose their train of thought during a conversation. 
  • Seniors may miss appointments because of forgetfulness.
  • Seniors find it challenging to follow a television show, movie, or book plot.  
  • Some seniors begin to have poor judgment as cognitive decline worsens. 
  • Family and friends may notice these issues before seniors. 

Mild forgetfulness that does not impact a person’s daily life is not a significant issue. This level of forgetfulness is common. Seniors are more likely to become forgetful if they are depressed, anxious, or tired. Seniors with cognitive decline need medical monitoring to ensure the issues do not increase over time. 

When to Become Concerned

Seniors and their loved ones need to know when simple memory loss becomes something more. The senior lifestyle becomes impacted when memory concerns remain prevalent. If memory loss becomes commonplace and is impacting the safety of seniors, take action. Waiting too long to get medical help could put lives in danger. 

Increased forgetfulness can be a sign of conditions like dementia. If memory lapses occur frequently, seniors need to seek medical help to determine a cause. Common causes of serious memory lapses include the following.

  • Lewy body dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Huntington disease

Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia. Treatments help slow the progression of the disease, and early intervention offers the most hope. With medication, many people continue to live normal lives for many years. When issues begin to arise that point to safety concerns, seniors are encouraged to seek a senior wellness program to keep them on track. 

Is All Memory Loss Permanent?

Not all memory loss is permanent. Some types of memory loss are caused by temporary issues such as medications, illnesses, and sleeplessness. Seniors can also experience increased memory loss due to depression and anxiety. 

Once the underlying cause is removed, most people’s memory lapses stop or at least improve. If the issues increase and become challenging to manage, seeking care from a doctor is essential. An examination, health history, family history, and screenings can help doctors determine if a patient has dementia and, if so, what type of treatment will be most beneficial. 

What Are the Effects of Memory Loss on Seniors?

  • People with memory loss often suffer from anxiety and depression. The high-stress levels caused by dealing with memory loss will begin to take a toll on seniors. 
  • When seniors experience increased memory loss, they may forget to take medications or eat. When seniors can no longer care for themselves because of memory loss, loved ones must take action. 
  • Some seniors turn to alcohol to help cope with the stress they feel about losing their memory. Unfortunately, alcoholism only increases the problems and can lead to greater depression. 
  • Memory loss can also present serious safety concerns. Seniors may forget to turn off the stove or forget where they are when driving or walking. Seniors with dementia are more likely to be involved in car accidents because their driving skills get worse. 

The effects of memory loss are far-reaching for seniors and their loved ones. When memory lapses interfere with daily life, seniors need to learn about the options for help. 

Should You Seek a Senior Living Option?

A dementia diagnosis can cause stress for seniors and their loved ones. Some seniors cope well with the initial diagnosis, but as problems arise with memory, the disease becomes increasingly aggressive and devastating.

The Chelsea at Bald Eagle provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care options in one building.e strive to keep our residents living fulfilling lives, allowing them to remain independent while keeping them safe and happy. Our memory care team provides seniors with the 24/7 care they need to stay safe and healthy. Our beautiful grounds provide an enriching environment for seniors.