Memory Loss: Age-related forgetfulness or something else?

Relax (a little). Not all memory loss is caused by dementia.

Okay, which is it? Memory loss or forgetfulness? Normal aging includes some forgetfulness for most people, so relax (a little). Our brains do get old, like every other part of our bodies.  Do you have those senior moments? You know the ones:

Looking for the reading glasses propped on your head

Going into a room and not remembering why you went there

Leaving your grocery list at home

Losing your car keys

While some brains are more affected by normal aging than others, you may be concerned about having too many senior moments. Others may be telling you another family member is losing his/her memory. Ignoring concerns like these may mean delaying needed help. People suffering memory loss can feel isolated, afraid, and unable to talk about their concerns.  Some develop ways to compensate so friends and family won’t worry about them, leaving the problem undetected.  This can leave them vulnerable and at risk.

Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms related to memory loss.

Memory loss associated with aging is not the same thing as disease-related memory loss.  People who suffer with dementia lose memory faster.  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America website is one helpful resource to learn more about disease-related memory loss:

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia itself is not a disease, but a term used to describe symptoms such as loss of memory, loss of judgment and other intellectual functions. Alzheimer’s disease can cause dementia

Keep in mind that not all memory problems are a result of dementia. Other causes can be involved, including vitamin deficiency, thyroid problems, urinary tract infections, medication side effects, stress, and depression.

Memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness, but to determine if memory impairment is a problem

So how can you tell if you or your loved one is experiencing memory problems that are cause for concern? A simple series of questions can help you know if there is cause for concern. The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG) is one of several simple assessment tools designed to help identify potential disease-related memory loss, but please note:

Memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.

If you don ‘t have an assessment tool, then you can simply ask questions that do not allow a yes or no response.  Instead of asking, “Did you eat breakfast today?” you can ask something more like “Tell me what you ate this morning.” Rather than, “Did you talk to Aunt Mabel yesterday?” try asking “What did Aunt Mabel tell you?”  Ask “What’s the date today?” or “Who is the president?”

Here’s the memory loss bottom line: If you  worry about memory loss in yourself or someone you care about or if someone expresses concern for you or someone you know, then don’t wait.  Schedule an appointment with a provider who is qualified to do a thorough memory assessment.

Do it sooner rather than later.

Giving Excellent Care: From Our Home to Yours

excellent care

Giving Excellent Care: From Our Home to Yours is being offered again this fall!  Our first class in the Spring of 2017 was such a huge success, we are offering it again.

This free twenty hour course is for informal caregivers who have or want to have home care giving experience and who are not already certified as a PSS or a CNA in the state of Maine.

This course focuses on practical skills necessary to safely and skillfully provide personalized, high quality care by applying a solid base of practical knowledge on which to build confident care-giving.

Do you suddenly find yourself facing family care-giving responsibilities?  This class is for you!

Do you want to gain solid skills for informal home care-giving? This class is definitely for you!

Do you want to prepare for working with an agency providing personal and homemaker services?  This class is truly for you!

A course completion certificate will be given to all participants who complete the full 20 hours of training. Completion of the class does not result in a formal, state-approved certification but completing this course will definitely boost your confidence and significantly enhance your care-giving skills.  This course is a great stepping stone should you want to continue your education elsewhere in pursuit of a PSS or CNA certification.

Call to register today, space is limited!

Giving Excellent Care runs on Tuesdays for five weeks, beginning Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

Dates: 9/26, 10/03, 10/10, 10/17, and 10/24.
Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: The Lincoln Home, 22 River Rd, Newcastle, ME 04553
FMI/Register: Valerie Lovelace, One2One Home Care, 563-3350, ext. 23, between 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

You may also contact us here.

Want to know more about Lincoln Home?  Click HERE!

First Home Care Training Class Graduates!


Training came to a close today after twenty hours of training spread over a five week period. Class participants learned a range of handy skills for in-home care-giving. Lincoln Home’s Giving Excellent Care in the Home: From Our Home to Yours curriculum centers on simple but important skills that boost confidence and help home care givers gain insight.

Class topics cover a broad range of skills. Right from the start students jump in with both feet, taking on subjects like personal values, home safety, and how to help granny with her dentures. Learning different skills and techniques help students become more confident providers.


Student feedback helps us know what we’re doing well and what we can do better. It’s exciting to hear how the class was received, and even more exciting to know we’ve made a difference in our community with this class offering.

I gained so much through this class. I now have a different perspective and feel more confident caring for my stepfather.

I liked the way we reviewed chapters after reading them. It felt easier to take in the lessons that way.

I learned about all aspects of daily living. I gained a lot of new information and recognize that every care-giving situation is going to be different. This class is fantastic!

I liked the interaction with other students during activities.

We all got off to a good start that provided ease of sharing information and asking questions.

I learned a lot about care-giving. The biggest lesson I take away from this class is “someone else’s emergency is not my emergency.”

Please stay tuned. Lincoln Home will offer this course again in the fall of 2017.  Watch our Facebook page for the event posting!