Many people become more forgetful as they get older. Many develop mild cognitive impairment, but some begin to develop more serious problems and may worry they are the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Many things can affect memory that are not symptoms of dementia. For instance, memory problems can be a result of stress, depression, grief, and vitamin deficiencies.

If memory loss worsens, it is described as dementia. Dementia can also involve difficulty planning and carrying out day-to-day tasks, difficulty communicating, and changes in mood, judgment, or personality. The symptoms of dementia worsen over time; a person with dementia will become more dependent on others to help them as the illness progresses.