Have you noticed significant changes in the behavior of an aging loved one? Has their once outgoing and friendly personality been replaced with a withdrawn or impatient attitude? Maybe they’re just having a bad day or week. Or maybe it’s something more. Here are 3 warning signs that a senior may be trying to hide the fact that they’re suffering from memory loss:
1. Withdrawal. A common symptom of memory loss is withdrawal from society and family. The aging adult may find themselves confused by faces or conversations, and they may have trouble interacting with people they should be familiar with. Perhaps they don’t answer their phone or door as often as they normally would. They may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable around others because they have trouble performing familiar tasks.
2. Denial. When confronted on the issue, they may make excuses for their behavior, blaming it on their age or the fact that most seniors have trouble remembering things. This may be partly true, which is why it can be hard to identify cognitive decline in its early stages. They may try to convince others that their confusion is normal and just apart of aging.
3. Refusal. They may start to refuse to let family members or friends into their home or become defensive when asked about things like medication doses or doctor’s appointments. Often they can’t remember this information and they are aware of this fact, so they try to hide it from those around them. Daily household responsibilities may have become too much for them to handle, and they are trying to hold on to their independence.
Obviously, this is a delicate matter and should be handled with the utmost patience, compassion, and gentleness. It is a good idea for us to imagine ourselves in their shoes. How would we want to be treated or confronted? Love should be the motivating force driving our approach in these difficult topics.
For more information on the signs of cognitive decline, click here.
For some tips for helping a loved one when they don’t want or think they need any help, click here.
This information was compiled from alz.org and Elmcroft Senior Living. It is not meant to take the place of a doctor’s advice. If you have questions about your loved one’s health, always consult their doctor.