Which Memory Types Are Most Often Impacted by Alzheimer’s?

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The brain’s ability to form memories is complicated, and research is still uncovering some of the mysteries of how people remember important information. However, it’s commonly understood that there are different types of memory associated with the brain’s ability to organize information so people can use it to perform certain tasks. For instance, your body’s muscle memory helps you do things such as blink without even thinking. Alzheimer’s affects memory types involved with cognitive processing, and these are the types most commonly affected by the condition.

Short-Term Memory

For most people with Alzheimer’s, the short-term memory begins to experience problems first. In fact, it’s issues with short-term memory that tend to send a senior to the doctor to seek a diagnosis for why those little “senior moments” seem to happen so often. Your aging loved one’s short-term memory helps him or her remember to do things such as turn off the stove and take medication. As this type of memory begins to be disrupted more often, you need to begin making plans for assistance to assure your loved one’s safety.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Bethlehem elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Semantic Memory

Once Alzheimer’s disease reaches the point of affecting long-term memory, your loved one may begin having difficulty recalling information he or she learned long ago. Semantic memory involves being able to recall facts and concepts that apply to specific situations. For instance, your loved one may no longer be able to remember the names of people he or she has known for a long time, places he or she has traveled to, or facts he or she used to know from a former career.

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of a highly trained professional caregiver. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Procedural Memory

The ability to learn and perform tasks is stored in the procedural memory. At first, your loved one should be able to manage many tasks he or she has handled over the years. For instance, brushing his or her teeth is something your loved one learned as a child, and this is often one of the final types of memories to fade. However, the early stages of Alzheimer’s make it difficult to learn new procedures, and you can expect your loved one to gradually forget how to do certain procedures he or she has done for decades. When this happens, it’s best to provide gentle support and reminders to help your loved one manage what he or she can do independently.

Episodic Memory

You can consider episodic memory to be the type that allows for storytelling. When your loved one tells you a story about his or her first job or a favorite vacation, he or she is pulling from episodic memory. For many seniors with Alzheimer’s, this is one of the last types of memory to fade, but it can start to get jumbled up. Blips in episodic memory may cause your loved one to think he or she is starting a job today or needs to start packing for a vacation. Try to find ways to let your loved one tell stories, such as by recording them for the family. However, keep in mind your loved one may need to be protected from wandering when he or she is no longer able to tell what is from the past versus the present.

If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Bethlehem Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 484-350-3874 to schedule a free in-home consultation.