Skip to main content

Holiday visits can spur concerns about memory in older loved ones

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Holiday visits to older loved ones may raise questions about a person’s physical and cognitive health, especially if it’s been a while since the last visit. Although some change in cognitive ability can occur with age, memory problems that impact daily living are not a part of typical aging.

Recognizing the difference between typical aging and potentially more serious problems can help identify when it may be time to see a doctor.

The Alzheimer’s Association® Western New York Chapter is an excellent resource for those with questions about typical age-related memory lapses and indications of more serious cognitive impairment.

The Chapter offers free educational programs that include a discussion of the 10 Warning Signs:

  • memory loss that disrupts daily life -- forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events;
  • challenges in planning or solving problems, such as trouble following a familiar recipe; 
  • difficulty completing familiar tasks, such as a budget or playing a favorite game;
  • confusion with time or place, including losing track of the seasons;
  • trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, including trouble reading or recognizing the face in the mirror;
  • new problems with words in speaking or writing, including repetitive conversations;
  • misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, or accusing others of stealing items they can’t find;
  • decreased or poor judgment, such as giving large amounts of money to telemarketers;
  • withdrawal from work or social activities, or lack of interest in sports;
  • changes in mood and personality that can include confusion, suspicion, depression, fear or anxiety.

Every year around the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday, the Alzheimer’s Association sees increases in calls to its 24-hour Helpline (800.272.3900), as people visit with friends and family they may not see as frequently during the year. That phone line is always staffed by trained experts, who provide confidential consultations around-the-clock, andthis holiday season will be no different.

Those with questions or concerns about memory lapses or behavioral changes in their loved ones will find compassionate people who can answer questions or listen to concerns at any time of the day or night through the long holiday weekend. Information can also be found online at

Experts from the WNY Chapter are also available to arrange private, in-person consultations via that same toll-free number: 800.272.3900.

About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

About the Western New York Chapter
The local Chapter provides programs, services and other resources for those living with dementia, their care partners, healthcare professionals and the public across eight counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. You can learn more by calling (716) 626.0600 during traditional business hours or 24/7 at 1.800.272.3900 or visiting online at

Authentically Local