Sunnyside’s Senior Living Health Tips: Understanding the Warning Signs of Dementia

Some changes in memory are normal as we age. Misplacing keys or occasionally forgetting someone’s name may be inconvenient, but both are considered a normal part of aging.

The signs of Alzheimer’s dementia, however, involve more than just occasional forgetfulness. The signs of Alzheimer’s also include patterns of confusion and difficulty completing regular, day-to-day tasks.

Signs of Alzheimer’s Dementia

How do you know what is a normal part of aging and what is a warning sign of Alzheimer’s? Early on, the signs of Alzheimer’s are subtle. However, a pattern of these signs over time can indicate the need for medical attention and intervention.

  • Memory loss that disrupts day-to-day activity. Occasionally forgetting an appointment is normal. Be aware of consistent patterns of forgetting not just the time of events, but that the events were scheduled at all.
  • Difficulty planning or following instructions. Seniors with dementia may find themselves unable to follow simple instructions in order, such as recipes.
  • Difficulty with numbers. Simple math that may have once come easy, such as balancing a checkbook or calculating a tip, becomes increasingly difficult.
  • Losing track of time on a large scale. Occasionally forgetting the day or date is normal. Forgetting the season or year and not being able to recall the present day is a larger scale loss of time.
  • Poor or questionable choices. Be aware of poor choices, such as wearing inappropriate clothing for the season or storing items in strange places.
  • Withdrawing from daily activities. Withdrawing from previously loved activities may indicate that a senior is having difficulty completing tasks, or feeling embarrassed about memory loss.
  • Challenges in conversation. Far more than periodically forgetting a word, seniors with dementia may substitute made-up words for common objects. They may also have difficulty following a long conversation.

What To Do if Your Loved One Shows Signs Of Alzheimer’s

If you detect changes in a senior loved one’s behavior, consult their physician. There are many age-related causes of forgetfulness or changes in behavior. Changes in medications, medications that need to be adjusted, infections, and nutritional deficiencies can all result in behavior changes.

If you learn that your loved one has Alzheimer’s dementia, there are more options than ever, including care at home and assisted living. For those with advanced memory challenges, memory care assisted living is often the safest and best option.

There is also more support than ever for caregivers and families of seniors with memory-related impairments. Most communities have local support groups. (Sunnyside Manor hosts a support group for families of residents in our Recollections Memory Care Neighborhood.)


The all new Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted LivingRecollections Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing.

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