Short-term memory failure (e.g.: events that have just transpired/dialogues that they just had) is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. However, many other conditions could result similarly, such as depression. If you experience symptoms that are similar to the 10 Early Symptoms of Alzheimer Dementia, immediately consult your doctor. If necessary, your doctor would recommend you a check-up to a neurologist, psychiatrist, or a geriatrician, who are experienced in diagnosing and handling cases of dementia.
If, when given hints (such as retracing their steps), they can remember, then it is usually not an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. It is predominantly caused by fatigue or overloading of information. To prevent being forgetful, frequently stimulate your brain. If the memory loss is due to age progression, one could still recall the details that someone with Alzheimer’s disease could not. For instance, one could forget a neighbour’s name while conversing with them but still know the fact that they are one’s neighbour, while someone with Alzheimer’s disease forgets both their name and the fact that they are one’s neighbour and no hints could help.
How does one differentiate between normal forgetfulness and dementia forgetfulness?If it is normal forgetfulness -especially in those of golden age- they will eventually recall the information when given a longer time or stimulus. They are still able to do their daily activities or activity daily living (ADL) independently. However, on people with dementia, they tend to forget new information hence why they are prone to repeatedly ask the same question, and they cannot carry out their ADL independently.
[Translated by: Ernest Bun for ALZI Indonesia]