Alzheimer’s and Normal Aging: What’s the Difference

You walk into a room, but forget why you entered it. You struggle to find a common word. Moments like these can make you worry that you have Alzheimer’s.

How can you tell? Here’s a short guide to knowing the difference.

While we can become concerned when we or a loved one has a lapse in memory or thinking skills, it’s important to know that nearly half of all people over 65 experience some memory loss; it’s not a disease, it’s just a normal feature of aging.

If you leave the room and go back to where you were, and then remember why you had entered the room, it’s probably what doctors call normal “age-associated memory impairment.” If, however, you start to wander around regularly, or get lost in familiar places, it might be a sign of Alzheimer’s.

Being unable to come up with a word or forgetting a name is a classic “senior moment.” If you remember the word later, it’s normal aging. However, if you are increasingly unable to remember words, names, dates, or events, or if you find you continually ask to be reminded of the same information, it could be Alzheimer’s.

The distinction between a feature of normal aging and the onset of Alzheimer’s can be confusing. But that shouldn’t prevent you from getting your questions answered. The Alzheimer’s Association has a helpful list of ten ways to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and normal aging.

If you have any doubt, see a doctor right away. There are many treatments for Alzheimer’s, and early detection yields the best outcomes.

Currently, 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Every 65 seconds, someone in America is diagnosed with it. It is estimated that 1 in every 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. For that reason, it’s important to know which healthcare facilities have special training in handling Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.

If you or your loved one do start to show signs of something more than normal, age-associated memory impairment, give us a call and see how we can help.

boy and girl hugging their grandparents

The Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers offer special units designed to safely and compassionately provide for all of our residents, including those who suffer from various stages of dementia and other cognitive disabilities. Our Alzheimer’s patients thrive in comfort and security at all of our Regency facilities.

We at Regency pride ourselves on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.

Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.

About Judah Gutwein, L.N.H.A.

As a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, with additional years of experience as an Admissions and Marketing Director, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of building and maintaining a vibrant census in nursing and rehab facilities. Regency Nursing Centers has a well deserved reputation for excellence in healthcare and I'm extremely proud of our achievements! Thanks for reading our Regency Blog!
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