When is it Time to Worry About Memory Issues?

When is it Time to Worry About Memory Issues?

Most people misplace their keys occasionally, but when the memory issues start to occur more frequently, you may worry about a potential dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. How do you know when you can get by with sticky notes, and when is it time to consult a doctor?

Normal signs of aging

As we reach middle age and beyond, we may notice mental challenges we never had before. These include:

  • Forgetting what day it is.
  • Occasionally having trouble coming up with the right word.
  • Becoming distracted more easily.
  • Misplacing items.
  • Having trouble doing more than one thing at a time.
  • Missing a bill payment.

While these symptoms can be distressing, they don’t necessarily indicate dementia or other brain ailment. Most people can manage the symptoms by keeping a calendar nearby or relying on lists and reminder notes. Sometimes, you just need to create a new habit of hanging your keys on the key ring as soon as you come into the door.

Potentially troubling signs of dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term for several conditions that cause progressive memory loss and difficulty thinking. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is the result of an abnormal buildup of proteins in the brains. About 5.7 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease. Other medical conditions leading to dementia include Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia or frontotemporal dementia. Some medicines may slow down the progression of dementia, but there is no cure.

Dementia symptoms can often disrupt your daily routine. Potentially troubling signs include:

  • Forgetting something you were recently told.
  • Being unable to recognize or identify family members.
  • Frequently forgetting things or recent events.
  • Struggling to focus on a task.
  • Making bad decisions, like giving away money to strangers or having difficulty paying bills.
  • Getting lost in a familiar place.
  • Becoming easily upset or withdrawn.

Family members often report their loved ones doing things that are out-of-character. Is your formerly fiscally conservative father giving money to every charity that sends him a plea? Does your peacemaker mother suddenly lose her temper and argue with loved ones? These symptoms suggest a visit to your general practitioner or other trusted medical professional.

Bringing it up with your loved one

Many people struggle to talk to their senior loved ones about their worries. Ideally, you’ll tell your loved one that you’re concerned, and your loved one will agree to see a doctor. Life, as we know, is rarely ideal. These conversations can be difficult, especially if your loved one has always been independent and in charge. A gentle approach can help.

Remind your loved one that these troublesome symptoms do not automatically translate into a devastating diagnosis. Certain treatable medical conditions can cause symptoms that mimic the signs of dementia. Something as simple as a medication interaction can cause problems that go away with a change of prescriptions.

Reiterate your unconditional love and support. You’re on their side – you will support them and work to find the best solution, regardless of the final diagnosis.

Repeat as necessary.

Finding the right senior living solution for people with dementia

Many of our loved ones are haunted by their own memories of grandparents and others who were sent to an institutional nursing home setting and left in a bed or wheelchair. Today’s senior living facilities have come a long way. Lona Newton and her staff at Senior Living Advisor can help you sort out where your loved one can thrive, whether it’s at home with occasional caregivers, in an assisted living community, memory care facility or another professional senior care setting.

At Senior Living Advisor, we understand how daunting this process can be. You don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Our experience and familiarity with local senior living communities mean we’ve done the homework for you. If you’re ready to talk about senior living opportunities for yourself or a loved one, schedule a free consultation now. You want real options for better choices. We make it easier to decide.


Moving on – What to Bring to Your New Senior Living Community Home

Moving on – What to Bring to Your New Senior Living Community Home

Are you or a loved one moving to a senior living community? You may be wondering what to bring. Chances are, you’re going to have less space to work with, so you’ll want to choose judiciously to create a comfortable, familiar setting that doesn’t look overcrowded. Senior Living Advisor understands the difficulties related to downsizing and has gathered the following tips to help with the transition.

Choose what’s important

You’re standing in the middle of a home full of memories, mementos and tchotchkes. How do you decide what to keep and what to let go of? We recommend a box approach – have an open box for keeping, a box for giving away, a box for trash and a box for items that can be sold. If you’re not yet ready to decide on a certain item, set it aside for later.

Measure your furniture

That overstuffed sofa looks lovely in its current spacious living room, but will it fit into a small apartment? Some seniors prefer to start new when they move, while others like to bring familiar pieces of furniture. Many high-quality furnishings can be revived with new upholstery or refinishing, and the little end table that’s been ignored over the past decade in your guest room finds new life in your new apartment or cottage.

Accessories add a familiar touch

Even if you can’t bring the overstuffed sofa, you can still keep the familiar throw pillows. Bedding, blankets, handmade quilts and framed photographs give the new setting a homelike feel.

Books, movies and other forms of entertainment

Sometimes a comfortable movie lets you revisit a favorite time in your life. If you enjoy watching “The Sound of Music,” bring your DVD player. Even if your new senior living facility has a fancy streaming library, you may prefer the familiar technology.

Personal care items

In some respects, moving to an assisted living setting is like going away to college. You want to bring your favorite shampoo, toothpaste, first aid kit and other hygiene products. Bring a bottle of your favorite all-purpose cleaner in case of a spill or if you want to freshen up your surroundings between weekly cleanings.


Moving time is a good time to release items you haven’t worn in the past year. We understand the need for familiar, comfortable clothes, but why not use this occasion to buy some new tops in a favorite color or a new pair of shoes? You may also discover that your lifestyle shifts in your new surroundings. Perhaps you decide you want to dress up a bit more for dinner in the dining room, or perhaps you are done wearing stiletto heels. You’re never too old to try something new.

Important documents

Invest in a small safe to store copies of your will, life insurance policy, medical paperwork and other important documents. This is an important time to talk to your adult children or other trusted loved ones and friends about what you want to happen in case you are unable to handle your financial or legal decisions on your own. Senior Living Advisor can direct you to eldercare attorneys and other professionals to help you with these decisions.

Ask for help

Not only is this a physical move, it’s also an emotional transition that you don’t want to do on your own. Consider hiring a company who specializes in senior transitions to help you with the heavy lifting. Did you know that Senior Living Advisor oversees your moving day as part of our care package? We’ll let you relax with a cup of coffee while we set up your new apartment, ready for the Big Reveal as you begin the next exciting chapter of your life.

Transitions can be hard, but Senior Living Advisor is committed to helping you or your senior loved one find a living solution that enriches their lives and feels like home again. Let us help you with this important decision. Call us at 317-973-5570 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. You don’t have to make this journey alone.