As you might expect, I receive a number of emails related to my work as an Alzheimer’s Care Specialist. Recently, I received a submission from The AARP that provided a quiz to help you to determine whether those senior moments were simply Normal Age Related Memory Loss (NARML) or a possible symptoms of early dementia. There were only 10 questions so I thought I’d share them with you. Remember that your answers are, is it a case of NARML or a sign of early dementia?
- Your children arrive for their weekly Sunday dinner and you forgot. Answer: Sign of early dementia.
- You ask a neighbor how his daughter, that is away at college, is doing but you can’t remember her name…until later. Answer: NARML
- You look in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself. Answer: Sign of early dementia.
- You always miss the turn to your Grandsons soccer field. Answer: NARML
- You find your glasses in the freezer and your watch in a flower pot. Answer: Sign of Early dementia
6. Your having trouble operating your Smartphone.
Answer: Sign of Early dementia.
- It’s taking you longer to make your Holiday Pies. Answer: NARML
- Your daughter says you’re asking her the same questions over and over. Answer: Sign of early dementia.
- Your mother passed away and you’re not sleeping well and are forgetting things. You’re just not focused, Answer: NARML.
- Your daughter says that your not remembering things that her children tell you. She thinks you’re not listening or you need to have your hearing checked. Answer: Sign of early dementia.
You can go to the AARP web site at aarp.org and they’ll drill down on the answers in more detail for you. Remember, it’s not forgetting where they car keys are, it’s forgetting what they are for. There’s a big difference between misplacing the keys and finding them in the vegetable crisper. With that in mind , in question Number 7, it may take longer to bake the pies but you are baking them correctly and are able to follow the directions. Like wise,not recalling a name or a person or place but have it come to you later is very common.
As I have shared with you countless times before there are a number of tests you can take to evaluate how you’re doing cognitively . You can Google tests like the SAGE exam, The SLUMS exam and the ever popular MMSE. Should you decide to do this, please don’t try to play Dr. Google and interpret the results. See the right physician and have him or her interpret he results for you.
What we all need to bear in mind is that our body goes through many changes as we age. That may include age related changes in memory and thinking. Dementia, or severe memory loss that interferes with our daily lives is not part of the normal aging process says the CDC.
When lecturing, I’m asked all the time , if Grandpa had dementia, will I get it? My first answer is that it depends on what type of dementia Grandpa had. Was it caused by head trauma? Alcohol abuse? If you have had none of those experiences then I wouldn’t worry to much. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s well known that genetics can indeed play a role just like many other illnesses that are passed on to other generations like heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. If you’d like to learn more about the role genetics play in developing dementia a great place to start would be the Alzheimer’s Association web site, ALZ.ORG. It’s an incredible resource for anyone looking for information and insight.
The more information we have , the more informed we are and the better it will be for all concerned.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Join the Journey.