Changes in memory in older adults aren’t unusual. They’re so common that people joke about them and call them “senior moments.” However, observing serious memory problems in an older family member can be frightening. Your first thought may be that they have Alzheimer’s disease. But, don’t jump to the worst-case scenario too quickly.
There are several causes of memory loss that are temporary such as the 5 below.
Older adults typically take multiple prescription medications. Several kinds of medicines can affect memory, including:
- Some painkillers.
- Diabetes medications.
- Medications for high cholesterol.
- Sleeping pills.
Ask the senior’s doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications they are on could be causing memory problems. If so, find out if there are alternatives.
#2: Poor Sleep
Not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep can affect memory. One culprit may be sleep apnea, which interrupts sleep because the person stops and starts breathing through the night. As a result, the senior may feel tired during the day and have trouble remembering things.
#3: Emotional Problems
Emotional problems, like stress, can lead to memory problems. Feeling stressed can cause the mind to be overstimulated and cause difficulty with memory. Stress that is related to emotional trauma can also create memory problems.
#4: Poor Nutrition
Not eating healthy, balanced meals can deprive the brain of nutrients that are important to brain health. For example, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to memory loss. It is necessary for the proper functioning of nerves. To get more B12 in your aging relative’s diet, try including foods like dairy products, fish, meat, and foods that have been fortified with B12.
Hypothyroidism occurs when a person’s thyroid doesn’t make enough of certain hormones. It’s a common condition in women over the age of 60. When the thyroid gland is underactive, it can cause the person to be forgetful and interfere with their ability to think.
Home care can help with managing things that can lead to temporary memory loss.
Home care providers can monitor the senior when they take medications to make certain they use them correctly, which may reduce the chances of adverse side effects. Home care providers can also relieve some of the stress your aging relative may be feeling by giving them another person they can rely on for assistance. And, if the senior struggles to eat well, home care can prepare healthy meals that provide all the nutrients they need.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in San Mateo, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
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