Is memory loss normal for seniors?
Well, yes. But you need to understand that seniors can experience two types of memory loss – age-related and health-related.
Normal memory loss happens because the hippocampus, which lives in the brain and forms and retrieves memories, depreciates with age. The production of proteins and hormones that promote growth too declines with age.
The blood flow to the brain decreases and this leads to impairment of memory and cognitive skills. These factors cause normal memory loss and these are the reasons why seniors are so forgetful. Normal memory loss is no cause for concern.
Health-related memory loss due to conditions like dementia is not normal and all seniors impacted by health-related memory loss must take medical treatment.
Can age-related memory loss be significant?
The brain is capable of producing new cells all throughout our life, and therefore, memory loss should not be significant. Normal memory loss, therefore, is nominal. However, your brain can be adversely impacted by your lifestyle, and it is recommended that you lead a healthy and minimalistic lifestyle.
What aspects are not impacted by normal memory loss?
- Your ability to perform tasks that you’ve always performed before, which you continue to perform
- Your knowledge and wisdom
- Common sense
- Your ability to reason and argue
How is dementia different from normal memory loss?
Normal memory loss can be likened to normal forgetfulness. However, when it escalates and prevents you from going about your daily chores, then it could be a symptom of dementia. Dementia prevents you from performing daily tasks like dressing, washing, shopping, etc. It stops you from recalling instances when you faced memory loss. Dementia makes you lose sense of a location and you can easily lose your way if you are impacted by it. It makes you forget what you just said, it makes you talk incoherently, and completely skews your judgment for the worse. Dementia is a terrible thing, normal memory loss is very minor compared to it.
What are the different factors that have the capability to enhance normal memory loss or make a senior lose his memory?
Some medications like sleeping, blood pressure, arthritis and anti-anxiety pills and painkillers can cause memory loss.
Medical conditions like depression can make seniors lose focus and become unorganized and forgetful. Many seniors are impacted by depression because of loss of job or of a dear one, or moving out from home.
You will be surprised to learn that even Vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to memory loss. That’s because this vitamin keeps the brain healthy. Seniors who smoke or consume alcohol are at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
A fast thyroid can leave seniors confused and a slow thyroid will leave them depressed.
All seniors who consume alcohol end up damaging their brain cells, which causes memory loss. Therefore, doctors advise that seniors must either shun alcohol or moderate their intake.
Many seniors are prone to dehydration. Normal dehydration is okay, but when it becomes severe it can cause bewilderment and memory loss. In particular, seniors who take laxatives and diuretics are at particular risk of dehydration.
How can seniors combat memory loss?
- By working out regularly
- By socializing
- By eating healthy food and leading a simple, minimal lifestyle
- By managing their stress
- By giving up alcohol and smoking
- By getting their 8 hours of sleep daily
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