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How Alzheimer’s Affects Different Memory Types

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After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s common to be surprised by the realization that there’s more than one type of memory. Different parts of the brain govern the abilities to recall certain types of information and complete various tasks. Learning about how there’s more to memory than simply being categorized as short-term and long-term can help you understand what to expect as your senior loved one’s condition progresses. Here are the main types of memory Alzheimer’s disease affects.

Episodic Memory

Episodic memory occurs in the temporal lobe of the brain, which contains the hippocampus. This structure is one of the first ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s responsible for most short-term memory. Once this type of memory begins to fade, your loved one may have difficulty remembering recent events or new information. For example, your loved one may suddenly forget who he or she just ran into at the grocery store or complain that he or she cannot remember where his or her glasses are. In the earliest stage, most people blame episodic memory loss on normal aging, but you can tell it’s more than that when it begins to affect daily functioning.

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 Colorado Springs senior care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Semantic Memory

Semantic memory also occurs in the temporal lobe as well as in the brain’s cortex. Your loved one’s semantic memory helps him or her organize and recall what most people call general knowledge. For instance, your loved one should be able to remember the names of familiar people and places and have the ability to categorize objects, such as telling you finches and doves are both types of birds. This type of memory loss also tends to come and go in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and many seniors live fine on their own with assistance when they’re only facing minor loss of their semantic memory.

Procedural Memory

Procedural memory is exactly what it sounds like. Most of this memory occurs in the cerebellum, and your loved one needs it to perform common procedures. For example, seniors rely on their procedural memory to remember the steps involved in preparing a meal or getting ready for bed. A senior who has this type of memory loss may also have difficulty learning new procedures. Often, reminders from a caregiver combined with a list of written or pictorial instructions can make it easier to manage routines.

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 home care services. 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.

Working Memory

Your loved one’s working memory involves abilities like being able to concentrate on a task and recall information, such as an address. Although this type of memory is eventually affected by Alzheimer’s disease, it’s possible to slow the loss by continuing to engage in activities. If possible, help your loved one continue to pay bills and play games that keep the mind active so he or she can strengthen the ability to recall information from long-term memory storage.

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, Colorado Springs 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. Call us at (719) 822-1229 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.