Alzheimer’s, memory loss and confusion


Terry Price

In the earlier stages, memory loss and confusion may be mild. The person with dementia may be aware of and frustrated by the changes taking place such as difficulty recalling recent events, making decisions or processing what was said by others.

In the later stages, memory loss becomes far more severe. A person may not recognize family members, may forget relationships, call family members by other names or become confused about the location of home or the passage of time. He or she may forget the purpose of common items, such as a pen or a fork. These changes are some of the most painful for caregivers and families and require patience and understanding.

Such types of behavior are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia.” This reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. If you have a concern see your doctor now.

The main underlying cause of memory loss and confusion is the progressive damage to brain cells caused by Alzheimer’s disease. While current medications cannot stop damage Alzheimer’s causes to brain cells, they may help lessen the symptoms for a limited time.

Try not to take it personally; Alzheimer’s disease causes your loved one to forget, but your support and understanding will continue to be appreciated.

Share your experiences with others. Join ALZConnected, our online support community and message boards and share what response strategies have worked for you and get more ideas from other caregivers.

Please join the Robson Ranch Walk to End Alzheimer’s on November 17 at 9:00 a.m. Mark your calendar and join your friends and neighbors have great exercise, fun and help make a difference! More info will follow as the date gets closer. You might think about forming a team who don’t need to actually walk but want to help you raise funds for the research to find an answer!