Senior Care in Washington DC
When your elderly loved one starts to have trouble with her memory, it’s not uncommon for both you and her to fear that she’s developing dementia. It’s important to get a complete diagnosis from her doctor, though, because she could be dealing with something called mild cognitive impairment rather than dementia.
Trouble Following Instructions or Conversations
If your elderly loved one has difficulty following even simple instructions, she can easily become frustrated and may get “stuck” in the middle of some activities. Likewise, having trouble following conversations can make it difficult for her to socialize in the manner that she’s accustomed to. People can become frustrated if they feel that she’s simply not paying attention or if she seems to not care. Your loved one might not even notice that she’s having issues with these situations.
Losing Her Train of Thought Often
Your loved one may find that she often derails herself. She may have walked into a room for something and completely blanked on why she’s there and what she was doing. Or your loved one might be in the middle of a specific activity and then become distracted in the middle, leaving the entire project unfinished. She might remember later, but there could be a significant gap.
Forgetting Important Events or Appointments
Having a calendar an help everyone to keep track of important dates and appointments, but if your loved one is dealing with mild cognitive impairment, it’s possible that even a calendar is not much help. You may need to post reminders about important appointments in several locations, such as a note on her bathroom mirror, her bedroom door, and the refrigerator.
Forgetting Directions or How to Get to Familiar Locations
One issue that can potentially be dangerous, especially if your loved one drives on her own, is that she could forget how to get around in familiar locations. This can cause her to be late for important events or to take far longer to run errands than she usually does. A GPS device or other means of finding her way quickly can help in that situation.
Let your loved one’s other family members and senior care providers know if she’s dealing with mild cognitive impairment so that they can be ready to help out when necessary.