Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The following information is borrowed (with her permission) from Jean Bandos, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC Research Director at "My Health Care Manager." Jean is an experienced Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist with a vast expertise in care management of the older adult.

"My Health Care Manager" is a national company that helps seniors and their families manage the complexities of older adult life. They have a website and a free 800 number that you can call to have any of your caregiving questions answered. The number is 1-800-499-8020.


Forgetfulness and minor memory problems are a normal part of aging. As we age, memory lapses like not remembering a name or taking more time to figure out directions to a new destination are normal. However, when these memory lapses become extreme and continuous, some action needs to be taken.

Unfortunately, there aren’t clear cut signs or determinants that an action is related to serious memory loss or if it’s common for a senior. An indicator that a behavior is normal includes minor occurrences, such as an older adult getting lost driving in a new part of town or having one fender bender. But, when the older adult can’t find his or her way home from the local grocery store or has several “I can’t remember how that happened” dents in their car, that is likely a sign of a major problem that needs to be addressed.

Dementia, or memory decline, is caused by a problem within the brain that makes it hard for a person to remember, learn and communicate. As the dementia progresses the individual may display disruptive behavior and other side effects. It’s estimated that as many as one-third of adults will experience a gradual decline in cognitive function during their lifetime. It’s important to seek medical attention right away if noticing major indications of memory decline."

I hope to be able to share more tips from Jean Bandos in future posts. Stay tuned.

Bob Tell

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