Sunday, June 4, 2023

Forgetfulness: What is Normal Ageing and What Isn’t?

Some memory loss is evitable and a part of normal ageing. But forgetfulness in some situations suggests underlying dementia conditions and warrants seeking medical help.


Memory problems could be due to a medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease but also other factors such as ageing, emotional issues, alcohol consumption, head injury, side effects of medicines, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and some liver, thyroid and kidney disorders. Here are some memory loss situations involving normal ageing versus potential dementias:

  • Short-term memory loss: Normal: forgetting an appointment or a person’s name. Abnormal: forgetting what you ate for dinner and recent events, asking for the same information again and again.
  • Finding right words: Normal: not finding the right word for a concept—calling a watch a clock. Abnormal: not finding the right words to explain something, getting lost in midsentence.
  • Directions and spatial orientation: Normal: difficulty reading signs or long instructions. Abnormal: confusing once-familiar landmarks like a nearby garden or office parking lot.
  • Completing routine tasks: Normal: difficulty sending an SMS or operating a remote. Abnormal: problem operating a washing machine or adding a few numbers.
  • Storylines: Normal: forgetting details from a long story. Abnormal: difficulty following a TV serial storyline or a string of conversations. This is a strong indicator of dementia.
  • Poor judgement: Normal: Making mistakes; Abnormal: Major financial errors like giving away large amounts of money to someone or buying costly items, which you would not do in everyday life.
  • Social withdrawal: Normal: cutting back on social life due to hearing loss or ailments; Abnormal: losing interest in hobbies or with friends and family.
  • Change in mood: Normal: Getting upset when your routine is disturbed; Abnormal: suspicious, confused, and anxious about any new experience.

If you are facing any of these, seek help. It is difficult to notice these changes in yourself. So, pay attention if a family member or a friend points them out to you.

To Read More

First Published on: 6th May 20
Image Credit: Cottonbro Studio on Pexels


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Latest Articles