When someone fills in memory gaps, whether it's completing another's sentences or turning off an unattended stove burner, it may delay a medical diagnosis that could confirm or cancel an early diagnosis of dementia. Why is that early diagnosis so important?
As author Carol Bradley Bursack, who wrote Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories, notes in her piece:
While accepting a dementia diagnosis is very difficult, knowing that something can be done to help stave off the worst symptoms is helpful. Also, when people know the name of the monster they are facing, they can better prepare to fight it, and also to plan for a time when they know they will lose that fight. They can better help themselves and their families if they find out the truth early on.
Adult children should watch their aging parents for signs that one is continuously covering for the other when it comes to memory gaps. Do they still pay bills on time? Is the house still kept clean? Are they maintaining good hygiene? Food regularly eaten and bad food disposed? Are appliances kept on when they should be shut off? Water kept running from faucets beyond what's normal?
Article: Elders Can Be Adept at Covering Memory Problems