Normal Aging or Dementia?

Posted by: St. Clare Commons - Sunday, June 2, 2019

The news surrounds us daily regarding the latest Alzheimer’s facts and its growth as baby boomers move into their golden years. 

  • One in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s.
  • One-third of Americans over 85 are afflicted with the illness.

As we age, many of us become a little more forgetful. You may worry that these things are early signs of dementia. For most people, these changes are the result of normal aging. 

The following chart is not a diagnostic tool; it provides a few of the differences between normal aging and dementia. Information was gathered from the Alzheimer’s Association ( and Alzheimer’s Society (, both of which offer an abundance of resources. If you have concerns for yourself or a loved one, you should always consult your family doctor or a health care professional.

Making a bad decision occasionally

Poor judgement and decision-making

Missing a monthly payment

Inability to manage a budget

Sometimes forgetting which word to use

Difficulty having a conversation

Misplacing things from time to time

Misplacing things and unable to retrace steps to find them

Forgetting the food on the stove until the meal is over

Forgetting that the meal was prepared

Sometimes forgetting people’s names or appointments, but remembering them later

Forgetting the names of close friends or family, or forgetting recent events – for example, visitors you had that day

Sometimes forgetting people’s names or appointments, but remembering them later

Getting very confused when planning or thinking things through

Having a bit of trouble finding the right word sometimes

Having frequent problems finding the right word or frequently referring to objects as “that thing”

Getting confused about the day or the week but figuring it out later

Losing track of the date, season, and the passage of time

Sometimes feeling a bit low or anxious

Getting unusually sad, anxious, frightened, or low in self-confidence

You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not

Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of any problems


We’re Here to Help 

If you or a loved one are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory impairment, CHI Living Communities is there to assist with its personalized approach that focuses on who each person is and the value each person holds. It is a holistic, person-centered approach to dementia care.

Focus is on the advanced care necessary to meet the challenges of those experiencing some form of memory loss. Each private suite is designed with the philosophy that this is home. Outside many suites are a personalized memory box that offers a window into the life of the person with items that stir happy moments and remembrances of his or her life. 

Several campuses have enclosed, secure outside beautiful memory gardens that allows residents walks in the sun. An exclusive dining area and activity center allows residents to interact with caregivers and others in a private environment. Residents enjoy the freedom to move about in their own, secured spaces while remaining safe as they do so under more intensive personal care and closer supervision. 

Residents enjoy culinary-prepared meals and snacks, planned recreational and activity programs, access to beauty and barber services, a beautifully appointed chapel with religious services, and more. 

Many of our campuses with memory care offer continuum of care. If a loved one is ever in need of special services such as a psychologist, physical therapy, a pulmonologist or anything else, including skilled nursing and rehabilitation, it is there for them on one campus.

Our admissions counselor can sit down with you and explore the options for your loved one. They can even arrange a respite stay on one of our campuses.