News Flash

Human Services

Posted on: February 22, 2021

Know the differences between natural aging and dementia

ADRC event - normal vs aging

The number of Americans living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast.13.8 million people age 65 and older are projected to have Alzheimer’s by 2050. It is normal for memory to change with age, but memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be hard to know the difference between age-related changes and the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Normal Aging versus Dementia,” will provide an overview of the signs and symptoms of both “normal aging,” Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These indicators may be signs of other health issues, but being aware of the differences can be instrumental in knowing what course of action to take, as well as providing peace of mind for you and for others.

The presentation will be held virtually two times in March:

  • March 18 at 6:30 p.m.
    Register online:
    Join by phone: 253-215-8782 or 888-788-0099
    Webinar ID: 972 3158 3215
  • March 20 at 9:30 a.m.
    Register online:
    Join by phone: 253-215-8782 or 888-788-0099
    Webinar ID: 967 1614 1733

We develop cognitive abilities that likely peak around age 30 and, on average, very subtly change with age. Mild changes in cognition are considered a normal part of the aging process. On the other hand, dementia, the all-encompassing term that includes Alzheimer’s disease, is a deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.  

Research suggests there are important things people can do each day to maintain brain health. The combination of good nutrition, physical activity and mental and social engagement may provide the most benefits. Nevertheless, knowing the signs and symptoms are essential.

“Dementia is not a normal part of aging,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Those awkward moments when we can’t remember a word or put a name to a face can be disconcerting. With the growth in the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, it’s easy to become prematurely worried.”

“Normal Aging versus Dementia,” will be presented by the Dementia Services Program at Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Tacoma. This workshop is a free, information-only presentation for all ages hosted by the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). Advance registration is required either online or by calling the ADRC at 253-798-4600.


# # #


Media Contact:
Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources
[email protected] 

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