Early Alzheimer’s or Senior Moment?
Reading about Dr. Kirk Daffner’s work gave me some clarification about whether forgetfulness could be early Alzheimer’s or whether it was just a senior moment.
Dr. Daffner, a Harvard brain specialist, offers some tips to help us know when to seek medical help.
“If someone has reduced or slowed ability to retrieve names of friends and acquaintances – especially those they’ve recently met – that’s probably very benign,” Daffner says. “But if they consistently can’t recall the names of close friends or family, that’s a red flag.”
It’s understandable not recognizing someone when you see them in a totally different environment – or “with their clothes on” as we often say when seeing someone from a workout class when they are dressed professionally. But if you suddenly do not recognize someone you do know, that could be a danger sign.
If you sometimes can not think of a word, that is probably not a concern. If you are having difficulty on a regular basis of recalling events, even when others offer helpful information, you probably need to get it checked out.
Do you get lost often in familiar places? That is a warning sign more so than if you occasionally turn the wrong direction.
If you or your family are feeling that your memory problems are causing you difficulty in your life, advocate for getting a formal evaluation even if your doctor dismisses your questions as just part of getting old.
Early detection of memory difficulties and getting support for you can make a huge difference in your quality of life.