Talking to a Loved One About Memory Decline


By Ashley Barnes, M.S. Memory Decline If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve likely noticed a loved one’s memory declining and may wonder if this is an indication of a developing neurocognitive disorder like dementia. Maybe you’ve noticed cognitive changes in a grandparent or great-grandparent, a parent, a sibling, or a friend. Early signs of a neurocognitive disorder are personality changes, trouble with memory, reduced gaze, trouble managing money, engaging in repetitive behaviors, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, poor decision making, and trouble with finding the right words; perhaps some of these symptoms are jumping out at you. You may want to address your concerns or your loved one’s concerns about their memory so that they feel less alone. Here are some tips on how to navigate the conversation and connect your loved one with good care: Preparation Before having the conversation, you may want to consider whether they have already inquired about …

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How to Talk to Aging Parents About Memory Loss

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Hrymoc, M.D.
how to talk to aging parents about memory loss

Talking to aging parents about memory loss requires empathy and sensitivity. Choose a comfortable setting, use clear and gentle language, and express concern without alarm. Offering support, discussing professional evaluation, and emphasizing that memory issues might be treatable can make the conversation more constructive and less intimidating. Cognitive decline, including memory loss, affects many older adults. Some symptoms are a natural part of aging, while others signal a more serious condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.1% of adults over 65 self-report that they have been experiencing a worsening of confusion and memory problems within the last twelve months.  If you are a child of an aging parent with cognitive decline, you have likely noticed that their memory is not what it once was. You may need to talk to them about their memory loss but aren’t sure what to say or how to say it. …

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