Lifestyle

Memory loss not a normal sign of aging

As people age, some forgetfulness is natural and inevitable.

Some might, for example, “lose” the car keys or other household objects, or forget where they heard something and/or who told them.

Those usually aren’t causes for concern.

But families who are seeing their loved ones struggle with loss of memory, difficulty with day-to-day tasks, and changes in mood and behaviour could be dealing with something more serious.

“People may think these symptoms are part of normal aging, but they aren’t,” explains Anthony Kupferschmidt, a Delta support and education coordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Those symptoms could well be indicators of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

The health issues are becoming more common. Already, one in four Canadians has someone in their family with Alzheimer’s disease. And every five minutes a Canadian develops dementia.

“If you have concerns about your memory, or are concerned about someone else, it is important that you consult with your family doctor,” says Kupferschmidt.

The society can also help local caregivers who are living with dementia.

It runs a free support and information group that serves as a forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the disease.

The group helps create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

For more information, contact Kupferschmidt at 604-238-7390 or anthonyk@alzheimerbc.org

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. website at www.alzheimerbc.org

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