Catching Memory Loss / Dementia Early

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As we age, we often notice small physical changes throughout our bodies and realise ‘that doesn’t work like it used to’, for example. When it comes to whether changes are happening within our brain however, this is something we can’t always tell straight away.

We understand the many important functions our brain helps with, such as making decisions, helping us to pay attention, speak and communicate, and remember things (to name a few). This is why it’s so important to spot the early signs that your brain is also physically changing, too.

These changes to our brain are called a ‘cognitive decline’.

While there are normal ‘age-related’ cognitive decline experiences we all have, when these start to really impact your everyday life it’s important to catch them early.

You may be more forgetful than you used to be or taking longer to remember something. Maybe you are forgetting important appointments or finding yourself stressed or angry over small things.

Forgetting the number of your gardener is one thing, but when you forget part or all of an event, or realise you’ve missed your morning medication several days in a row, this is when you want to make an appointment with your General Practitioner (GP) to discuss whether these are memory related or early signs of dementia.

Your GP will complete a comprehensive medical assessment including testing your memory and concentration. They may also refer you to a specialist in this area such as a geriatrician. The appointment may take some time so it’s worth considering having a support person with you and also a notebook and pen to take notes or share your concerns with them.

If you are assessed as having a decline in your memory your GP or specialist may recommend some lifestyle changes and activities you can complete to help improve your memory and retain it for as long as possible.

If, however, you have been able to assess signs of dementia early your GP/specialist will plan the best way to help you manage this morning forward. This may include medication.

As we age the best way to stay in control of our health and wellbeing is to catch things early and plan as much as possible for a time when you may not be able to control it all.

Written by Aynsley Johnson, Community Services Manager

At Burnie Brae many of our community services include either transporting you to and from appointments or even staying with you and being a support during the appointment itself.

Our team of experienced aged care professionals can also provide you with guidance in relation to memory loss and signs of dementia.

For more information about how best Burnie Brae can help, call 07 3624 2121 today!