When most people think of memory loss in the elderly, they think about dementia. However, there are other reasons for memory loss in senior citizens. If your elderly loved one is experiencing memory loss, it is best to have them see their doctor. However, it is also a good idea to look into some conditions that can cause temporary memory loss, and how elder care can help.
Vitamin B12 is very important. Not only does it protect neurons in one’s brain, but it supports healthier brain functions, as well. Due to this fact, if someone doesn’t have enough B12 in their body, it can cause brain damage. This can lead to impaired brain functions and even memory loss. The good news is that if caught early, this vitamin deficiency can be fixed. If your elderly loved one drinks excessively or smokes, they have a higher risk of being deficient in this vitamin. After being tested by their doctor, if they are deficient in vitamin B12, their doctor may need them to get injections of B12 every month. You or one of their elder care providers can take them to get these injections.
Another one of the things that can cause memory loss in the elderly is thyroid problems. The thyroid helps to control metabolic functions. It helps to control memory as well. If someone has a slow metabolism, they may get depressed often or feel sluggish. If their metabolism is faster than normal it can cause confusion. When someone has severe thyroid problems, this can even lead to memory loss and concentration issues. Luckily, there are treatments that can help to treat thyroid problems which means the memory loss doesn’t have to be permanent.
Your elderly loved one might experience memory loss from being dehydrated, as well. Dehydration is quite common in the elderly. There are many symptoms of dehydration including slurring of words, drowsiness, and memory loss. These symptoms might make you think that your elderly loved one has dementia. However, they may just be dehydrated. The elderly should be drinking between 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. If they aren’t doing this, you or elder care providers should help them to stay hydrated.
These are some of the things that can cause memory loss in the elderly. When caring for your elderly loved one, if they start losing their memory, you should first check to see if they are dehydrated. If this isn’t the case, you should have them see their doctor to determine if one of the other things mentioned above are the cause of their memory loss, or it’s something more serious. An elder care provider can help your senior loved one with maintaining hydration, offering transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and more.