Is your Mum or loved one starting to forget things? Are you worried or perhaps wondering what to do? In our latest series of video blogs, our Managing Director Alastair Shanks explores the topic of supporting parents as they age.
Should you be worried?
Forgetfulness is a natural stage of ageing but if your Mum’s poor memory is causing you concern, there are three questions worth exploring further.
Firstly, is there more to the situation than forgetfulness? As we get older our memory doesn’t work as well as it used to do – we’ve all had those times when we’ve walked into a room to get something but can’t remember what we wanted. Signs of dementia are a bit more than this. Dementia leads to confusion and while it does often cause short term memory loss, it is likely there will be other symptoms.
If you are worried, you may find it helpful to consult the Alzheimer Society’s website or attend a local dementia friends’ session so you can find out more information about dementia and the early signs.
The second question to ask is how the forgetfulness is impacting on your Mum. If your Mum is happy and not concerned, then there is perhaps less for you to worry about. However, if it is making her unsafe at home or she is worried, then it is time to take some action.
Finally, has there been a sudden change in your Mum’s memory? Forgetfulness caused by ageing is likely to be gradual but if something sudden has happened, further investigations to find out the cause are recommended. There are lots of conditions that can suddenly affect a person’s memory including Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
What actions you can take if you are worried
The most important action is to discuss your concerns with your Mum and see if she is worried. You can talk about what actions can be taken and perhaps attend a Right at Home dementia friends’ session.
If you conclude that a doctor’s appointment is necessary, the GP should be able to refer your Mum for a test to find out what is happening.
Finally, there is plenty of advice and guidance out there so if you are worried, we advise you to speak up and ask for help.