You misplaced your keys and found them on your night stand. You ask yourself, “Is this just a senior moment or do I have something seriously wrong with my memory? I seem to be misplacing my things all too often these days.”
The statistical odds are that you are probably fine. Not that we are downplaying the seriousness of Alzheimer’s disease, after all, it is a devastating illness. National statistics state that 1 out of 8 people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s, which equates to roughly 5.1 million people in the U.S. If you are worried because your forgetfulness disrupts your day, you feel confused, or you can’t plan and keep your daily schedule as before, then we recommend that you see your physician to discuss these issues. But for those who are in midlife, coping with working full or part-time, raising teens, and caring for elderly relatives, everyday forgetfulness is common.
Here are some relief signs that you DO NOT have Alzheimer’s disease.
- You forget a new acquaintance’s name. Not to worry, everybody does that.
- You forget the name of your high school buddy whom you haven’t seen in years. Embarrassing, but common.
- Remembering in the middle of the night that you forgot to call your accountant. The good news is that you remembered.
- You forget where you parked your car. Especially in large mall parking lots, this is quite common. If you forgot, however, how you got there, then that is not a good sign.
- You feel old because you can’t figure out how to text from your new phone. Or the new remote for your TV is complicated and you just can’t get used to it. Technology moves at a faster pace than most of our middle-aged brains. Recruit your grandchild or the teen next door. This will save many hours of frustration.
- You don’t feel like playing bridge today and you just want to stay home. Everybody needs alone time, just don’t make it a habit.
- Your grandkids roll their eyes and tell you, “We heard that story twenty times, Grandpa.” Retelling stories, especially funny ones, are normal and sharable moments. However, if you just told the story five minutes ago and you don’t remember doing so, then that is different story.
The Alzheimer’s Association has published the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and we encourage you to know these signs, particularly if you are the primary caregiver of an elderly relative. (Click Here to download a copy.) As always, we welcome your comments and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.