How do you tell the difference between “normal” forgetfulness and serious memory loss due to dementia?

There are no simple answers, but this information article sorts through how to tell the difference and gives some tips on keeping your memory sharp.

One expert sums it up this way: “If you forget where you placed your keys, that’s normal. If you forget how to use your keys, that’s a problem. You may once in a while forget where you parked your car, but if that happens to you once a week, that’s more like dementia.” 

The brain, like the rest of the body, slows down with age. So some issues with memory and information processing are completely normal. But when your ability to function in the world is compromised, that’s the time to be concerned.