According to a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 percent of U.S. seniors (ages 60 and up) report that they have experienced issues with their memory and have experienced an increase in confusion.
More than 30 percent of the people who reported memory loss or confusion issues admitted that they experienced issues at work, socially or while attempting household chores, and those situations were negatively affected by the lapse. Experts say that these reportings indicate a better screening tool is needed in order to identify early signs of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Individuals from 21 states in 2011 were surveyed on a number of questions, including questions about memory loss within the past twelve months. Only 35 percent of those who reported memory issues said they discussed the issue with a health care professional. The report, published in the May 2013 issue of the Center for Disease and Controls' Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, is the first of its kind, stated Angela Deokar, report co-author.
If you feel you are experiencing some cognitive decline, do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor and request a full medical exam. You may have a treatable cardiac disease or metabolic disorder which is affecting your thinking process. Medical conditions which may cause memory issues and confusion, such as vascular dementia, are not reversible but can be slowed or halted with medication.
If the cause of cognitive decline is not reversible, you will want as much time as possible to plan for your future care needs. You must develop an Advance Directive, a Durable Power of Attorney, and take other protective steps with your estate planning attorney.