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memory loss

5 Misconceptions About Memory Loss and Dementia

There’s no doubt about it: memory loss is one of the most widely discussed aspects of aging, specifically when it comes to the links between memory loss and dementia. In fact, in the United States alone, over 6 million people are currently living with a form of dementia. So why are there still so many myths about the effects, symptoms, and progression of this disease?

At Hillside Springs, our memory care community in Dallas, GA, provides personal, customized care that fits the needs and interests of each resident. It’s our duty to create daily opportunities for residents in our community to find purpose and joy. 

We want everyone to have access to education and resources, specifically when it comes to understanding the differences between age-related memory loss and dementia. Here are five of the most common misconceptions surrounding memory loss and dementia.

1. Dementia is an Inevitable Part of Aging 

Many cognitive changes can occur with age, and age-related forgetfulness is natural. For example, everyone faces momentary lapses in memory from time to time. Think about the last time you misplaced your car keys or struggled to remember someone’s name in conversation. 

These lapses can become more common with age, and almost 40% of us will experience some form of memory issue after age 65. However, dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older. 

“Dementia includes the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, learning, and reasoning — and behavioral abilities to the extent that it interferes with a person’s quality of life and activities (nia.nih.gov).” If you or someone you love is experiencing more severe memory lapses or changes in behavior, it’s important to speak to a healthcare professional.

2. Dementia is Hereditary 

Another common misconception surrounding memory loss and dementia is the idea that dementia is hereditary, assuming that because a parent or grandparent was diagnosed, you will also develop dementia.

“While there are a few rare types of dementia with a strong genetic link, the overwhelming majority of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease cases are not inherited (cedars-sinai.org).”

3. All Types of Memory Loss are a Sign of Dementia 

While memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, experiencing lapses in memory does not necessarily mean dementia. As previously noted, age-related forgetfulness is common among older adults. In addition, many other underlying conditions can cause memory loss in older adults, including: 

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Medication Side Effects
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Before ruling out any other cause behind memory loss, it’s important to visit a medical professional in order to get to the root cause of this issue and determine what is causing cognitive impairment. 

4. Flu Shots, Dental Fillings, and Even Aluminum Can Increase the Risk of Dementia 

In the 1960s, a scientific study was conducted that injected rabbits with high levels of aluminum and found that the animals developed neurological lesions that mirrored that of people with Alzheimer’s. 

Similar studies have investigated the relationship between dental fillings and Alzheimer’s, specifically silver amalgam fillings. A theory was also proposed by a doctor who believed that flu shots greatly increased the risk of developing Alzheimer’s; his medical license was promptly suspended. 

However, no links to any of these claims have been consistently proven. Dementia is still a mystery in many aspects, and researchers are discovering new nuances about the condition every day. 

5. Only Older Adults Can Develop Dementia

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding memory loss and dementia is that it only impacts older adults. In reality, “[dementia] can strike people in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s (also referred to as early onset).”

While age is a risk factor for developing dementia, additional risk factors include genes, diet and exercise, head trauma, and sleep trouble.

At Hillside Springs, our memory care community in Dallas, GA, is ready to help your family find purpose and live joyfully. Our signature memory care program, Valeo™, is driven by the unwavering belief that joy should be at the center of every day. We structure programs for those living with memory-related conditions to maximize strengths and create daily opportunities for residents to find purpose and live joyfully.

By providing the right resources, we want to ensure you’re ready to take the next step in your life’s story confidently and safely. Contact our team online or call (770) 626-5479 to learn more.

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5 Misconceptions About Memory Loss and Dementia

There’s no doubt about it: memory loss is one of the most widely discussed aspects of aging, specifically when it comes to the links between memory loss and dementia. In fact, in the United States alone, over 6 million people are currently living with a form of dementia. So why are there still so many myths about the effects, symptoms, and progression of this disease? At Hillside Springs, our memory care community in Dallas, GA,

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