Memory loss not normal sign of aging

As we age, some forgetfulness is natural and inevitable.

  • Sep. 6, 2012 2:00 p.m.

As we age, some forgetfulness is natural and inevitable.

You might, for example, lose the car keys or other household objects, or forget where you heard something and/or who told you.

Those usually are not causes for concern.

But Williams Lake families who are seeing their family members struggle with loss of memory, difficulty with day-to-day tasks, and changes in mood and behaviour could be dealing with something more serious.

People may think these symptoms are part of normal aging, but they aren’t, explains Tara Hildebrand, the local support and education co-ordinator for Williams Lake and the Central Interior for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Those symptoms could well be indicators of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

One in four Canadians has someone in their family with Alzheimer’s disease, and every five minutes a Canadian develops dementia.

If you have concerns about your memory, or are concerned about someone else, it is important to consult with your family doctor, Hildebrand says.

The society can also help local caregivers who are living with dementia.

It runs a free support and information group that serves as a forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the disease.

The group helps create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

It meets at 9:30 a.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information contact Hildebrand at 250-377-8200 (toll-free 1-800-886-6946) or thildebrand@alzheimerbc.org

You can also visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. website at www.alzheimerbc.org.