I am wondering how do we really know it is dementia the disease, or it is just aging? Sometimes my sister may think my Mom has memory loss (e.g., forgot some stuff at the clinic) but we don't see the wrongful logic or anything. Mom is moody because she is old and she told me often she is afraid to die (part of her philosophy for years.) If I am very old, I would be moody too.
Mom and Dad depend on my sisters a lot for outings and etc. Dad needs to be taken out a lot or he would sleep a lot until noon. Mom gets up regularly and goes to bed fine.
I know that dementia needs to be diagnosed and we should not think it is dementia for sure until it is proven. Yet lots of times it is not proven for older people.
My parents are pretty good comparing with other folks.
Hope this will continue.
Just my thoughts - what if it is not dementia, just normal aging?
You bring up interesting questions, Nina. I don't have nearly as much experience with this as most on this board. And I can't give you a tangible answer. But, somehow, I just knew. Shortly after my mom died, about a year and a half ago, I started seeing signs, subtle things that might have been more hidden when mom was alive. Dad had more and more computer troubles. He couldn't tell the difference between my having a cell phone and a home phone. He showed up to appointments at the wrong time. He called me in the middle of the night with no awareness that I might be sleeping. He stopped changing the channels on the TV. And a number of other signs too subtle for me to remember. I kind of knew there was something 'not right' almost a full year before I did anything about it. Finally, an MRI confirmed that he had vascular blockages that would cause dementia.
I'm sure others have much more to add to this discussion.
Nina, there are a number of reason for forgetfulness that is normal. Dementia is different from normal forgetfulness. If you forget where you placed your keys but you can retrace your steps and locate them... that is not dementia. If you forgot you had keys, don't know what they are for, or don't know what they are... then that is dementia. If there are behavioral changes you have to look for the basis of these changes. If they lack logic or good judgement than it might be a symptom of dementia. Irrational accusation because they do not remember an incident is a result of dementia. Being grumpy or stubborn because they don't feel well is normal. If they lose the ability to read, follow a story line on TV, or use technology then that is probably dementia. If they can not follow instruction or learn new information then it very well might be dementia. If they lose the ability to keep a check book register, pay bills, or keep up with money... they it might be dementia. If they forget the name of somebody that they met once or many years ago that is not a problem but if they forget the names of family members, relatives, or close friends... they there is reason to worry. Dementia is not part of normal aging
...... what if it is not dementia, just normal aging?
Normal healthy aging shouldn't be as you described. I would make sure that there's no nutritional deficiency. Older people sometimes have difficulty absorbing nutrients and may need a supplement. My first choice would be to eat a healthy diet and try to get all the nutrients that way. Then take supplements only as a last resort.
The older we get, the more important a healthy diet becomes. We need lots of fiber, for example, and lose the processed foods like sugary desserts etc.. Also, it's never too late to work on building some muscle tone.