Memory Loss vs. Dementia [INFOGRAPHIC]

We may often joke about it, but getting older does often mean an increase in forgetfulness and a general slowing down. It’s totally normal and to be expected. However, some levels of memory loss can point to more serious problems, including early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Knowing the most common warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can not only help you detect real problems earlier, but can help you feel more at ease when you realize certain occurrences are normal and not so worrisome.

As with any disease, it’s better to err on the side of caution and let your doctor know if you are concerned with any actions or developments in your or your loved one’s actions. Even if you find yourself facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it’s better than not knowing and facing a more serious case later in life. Knowing about a diagnosis can help you not only make more decisions for yourself and your future, but can help potentially preserve quality of life for longer.

Below are examples of normal aging vs. potential signs of dementia that can help you know when you should bring your concerns to your doctor. We encourage you to share this infographic on Facebook and your website! If you prefer to read a text-based version of the infographic, scroll down.

What's Normal Memory Loss vs. Dementia [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Normal Memory Loss vs. Dementia: Recognizing the Difference

Normal: Forgetting a person’s name or a word during a conversation, but remembering it later.

Concerning: Losing oneself in a conversation, stopping abruptly and forgetting what to say next, repeating oneself often.

Normal: Forgetting an appointment from time to time.

Concerning: Forgetting recently learned information, or having to ask for information over and over. Increasingly having to rely on devices or loved ones to help remember to complete tasks previously handled on their own.

Normal: Forgetting what day it is occasionally, but figuring it out later.

Concerning: Completely losing track of the season or the day, or even forgetting where one is and how he or she got there.

Normal: Getting irritated when one’s normal routine is altered.

Concerning: Getting extremely agitated when something in daily life changes, especially when the agitation is  a noticeable departure from one’s typical personality.

Normal: Making bad decisions occasionally when it comes to money.

Concerning: Consistently exhibiting poor decision-making abilities, such as giving away large amounts of money to telemarketer.  

Normal: Feeling tired or worn out from time to time and wanting to stay home to rest.

Concerning: Removing oneself from favorite hobbies or activities because of forgetfulness or difficulty completing; becoming more isolated and not wanting to venture out of the comfort of one’s home.

Normal: Losing an item occasionally.

Concerning: Putting items in strange places and not being able to retrace one’s steps to find the missing items.

Normal: Vision changes due to cataracts, or needing a new prescription for your glasses.

Concerning: Increased difficulty in vision when it comes to understanding what one is seeing – such as understanding color or contrast – making it difficult to travel or conduct daily life.

Megan Hammons lives in the Central Texas countryside just outside of Austin, pursuing her love for copywriting after a career in high-tech marketing. She is part of a large, diverse family and enjoys spending time with the multiple generations living in her community.


  1. david plaut March 18, 2017 Reply

    this was a nice separation between ‘old age’ and dementia.

    thank you.


  2. Denise June 24, 2019 Reply

    Good Separation, totally makes sense.

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