Senior Resources » Alzheimer’s Vs. Age-Related Memory Changes

Alzheimer’s Vs. Age-Related Memory Changes

As you get older, your body goes through lots of changes – and that includes your brain. It may take longer to learn new things and a little forgetfulness can have you searching for your reading glasses more often. But, how do you know when a change means something a little more than just aging?


What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is a general term for the loss of memory and other cognitive abilities ( The majority of those with this progressive disease are over the age of 65 and often need specialized attention. People with Alzheimer’s may experience memory loss, mood swings, and difficulty with motor skills.

You forget things here and there. Sometimes a person’s name doesn’t come right to you or you mix up the days of the week; but, you’re able to eventually recall the correct information. Age-related changes are generally inconsistent and can be subtle, not usually disrupting daily life.

brain health

What else can affect memory?

There are plenty of other conditions and circumstances that may cause changes in memory and cognition, albeit some more serious than others. Some common conditions that may affect memory are:

  • Blood clots
  • Certain infections
  • Some thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders
  • Head injuries
  • Medication side-effects
  • Unhealthy diet

Related: 5 Benefits of Home Care For Alzheimer’s Patients

Just because someone is experiencing changes in their memory, does not mean that they have dementia. Remember that when memory loss prevents you from performing daily tasks, it becomes a health concern that needs to be checked out by a professional. Let’s compare some Alzheimer’s and age-related memory changes.

Forgets entire experiencesForgets part of an experience
Gradually unable to care for selfUsually able to care for self
Always has trouble with decision-makingMomentary lapses in judgment
Difficulty carrying a conversationMixes up spoken words on occasion
Unable to find misplaced items oftenLoses things from time to time but eventually locates them

Dementia also has other symptoms that are not a normal part of aging. Some elements to look out for include wandering, depression, incontinence, confusion, and sleeplessness. However, remember that these symptoms can be the result of other conditions as well. Only a doctor can clearly diagnose Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


Related: What Services Are Provided By Adult Day Care?

Need more help?

alzheimer's ribbon

If you or a loved one are experiencing changes in memory or cognitive abilities, then contact your doctor for help.

If you’re in need of additional Alzheimer’s and dementia resources, then start here:

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging, by CDC


National Institute on Aging

VA Dementia Care

Alzheimer’s Society

Need something else?

woman with magnifying glass over eye

Whether it’s time for a change, or you’re just doing some research, we can help! At, we believe in the empowerment of older adults and their caregivers through knowledge. But, we also understand that at this juncture of life, time is your most valuable asset. So, why waste it doing another internet search? Senior Resource is your one-stop spot for all things retirement. We do the work and find all the facts, just so you don’t have to! exists to provide aging adults, retirees, and caregivers with applicable, and educational content, relevant to the over-55 community. As such, we address topics like senior housing, nursing care, and aging-in-place.

Looking for more great articles? Then start here!

Originally published January 26, 2023

Free Senior Resources

Baby Boomers' Guide to Facebook

Baby Boomers’ Guide to Facebook

Get The Guide
Blessings for Baby Boomers

Blessings for Baby Boomers

Get The Guide
Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist and Guide, 2023

Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist & Guide

Get The Guide
Medicare Guide for Veterans cover

Medicare Guide for Veterans

Get The Guide
Show this content while the ad loads.