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Is It Dementia? Is it Alzheimer’s?

Is It Dementia?  Is it Alzheimer’s?

Is it Alzheimer’s?  My mom suddenly lost her memory!

ForgetfulSenior-MovingForwardIncIn our years helping seniors relocate and downsize with ease, we have learned quite a bit about the issues facing our clients.

One piece of good news we’ve learned is that if an elderly person suddenly loses their memory, or starts acting crazy, it is almost certainly NOT Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia.

A defining characteristic of dementia is that it comes on very slowly.  So, a sudden change in behavior is probably caused by something else and is likely correctable.

What could cause the memory loss?

  1. The most likely cause, and fortunately the easiest to cure, is a simple urinary tract infection (UTI).   The effects of a UTI can be startling.  But when the infection is halted, the recovery can be just as dramatic.
  2. SeniorTakingMedication-MovingForwardIncThe behavior change may also be due to a drug interaction.  Just changing your mom’s medications can fix the problem completely.
  3. Even a slow loss of concentration might be fixable.  One of my clients, Lois (not her real name), bumped her head a couple of days before she was scheduled to move.  The brain scan revealed there had been bleeding inside her skull for quite some time, probably due to an earlier fall.  With surgery to relieve the pressure, Lois regained her memory within just a couple months.

So, if you are noticing a deterioration of memory in your mom, don’t avoid taking her to the doctor for fear of bad news.   Many things that seem like Alzheimer’s can be remedied quickly.

If your mom (or your dad) is preparing for a downsizing move, don’t forget us! Call Moving Forward Inc., we’ll be happy to help you help her relocate with ease!

**originally published 7/27/2011