Most seniors who notice memory loss beginning to occur in their lives will neglect to inform their doctors – even if it interferes with the basic activities of daily living. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, just one-quarter of surveyed adults said that they discussed memory issues with their doctor.
Dealing with the fear
Among seniors, there is a real fear of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia and a denial that this kind of thing could possibly happen to them. People also feel a sense of embarrassment in admitting that they have memory problems. They worry that people will develop a lower opinion of them, which can lead to a sense of loneliness and isolation.
Causes and treatment
One important thing to remember is that memory loss can be attributed to factors other than dementia. Often times, once a doctor is made aware of the issue, they can pinpoint things such as hyperactive thyroid conditions or vitamin deficiencies that are the true culprits. In fact, 42 percent of respondents to the study who discussed memory issues with their physicians received treatment of some kind. This treatment could be as simple as adding a vitamin to your daily nutrition regimen. Seniors who do have dementia and keep their memory loss a secret can miss out on memory care treatments that are only available to those who have received a formal diagnosis. These treatments, while not able to cure dementia, can slow its progress and greatly improve a person’s quality of life – especially if the diagnosis comes in its early stages. Also, if a dementia diagnosis comes early, the patient has the ability to participate in the decision-making process with regards to their future treatment options.
In the end, as with most physical issues, it is of the utmost importance to let your doctor know any time you notice that something is not right with your body. Nobody knows your body better than you and the longer you wait to tell someone, the greater the risk.
If you or a loved one are dealing with memory loss issues and have questions, Primrosewould be honored to assist you. Just visit www.primroseretirement. com for additional info and information about how to contact the Primrose community closest to you.