Memory loss not a normal part of aging process

Alberni Valley families who are seeing their family members struggle with loss of memory could be dealing with something more serious.

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 aren’t causes for concern.

But Alberni Valley 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 Jane Hope, the local education and support coordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Those symptoms could indicate Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

The health issues are becoming more common. Already, 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 that you consult with your family doctor,” says Hope.

The society can also help local caregivers who are living with dementia. It runs free support and information groups that serve as a forum for sharing tips and strategies for coping with the disease.

The groups help create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

For more information contact Hope toll-free at 1-800-462-2833 or jhope@alzheimerbc.org.