Memory loss is prevalent as people age. You may have excellent long-term memory from many years ago yet struggle to recall fresh knowledge. Normal memory loss does not worsen and has little impact on everyday activities. Memory loss that worsens over time or interferes with daily tasks may indicate a major medical concern, such as Alzheimer’s disease. If you or someone close to you find that your memory is deteriorating, see your healthcare physician. Read on to learn about some things that you need to know about memory loss.
Signs of Normal Memory Loss
As we grow older, we will experience memory loss to a certain degree. Here are some signs of normal memory loss.
- Not remembering someone’s birthday or anniversary
- You’re late for an appointment because you forgot about it
- You can’t recall why you stepped into a room
- Having difficulty memorizing a known person’s name, but then remembering it
- You can’t recall where you left your keys or spectacles
Signs of Severe Memory Loss
The following symptoms may indicate a more serious health concern that requires treatment:
- Not recognizing a long-lost family member or acquaintance
- Forgetting to brush your teeth, shower, or perform other routine personal care activities
- Thinking that events that occurred years ago occurred recently
- Being unable to recall prior experiences, such as a vacation you took
- You can’t recall if you took your medicine or completed a task
- Having difficulty following directions or getting lost, especially in a familiar location
- Having difficulty learning new information or abilities that need you to recall steps
- You don’t know how to do something you used to do
Diagnosis of Memory Loss
Your healthcare practitioner will inquire about your memory loss from you or someone close to you. Your healthcare professional will ask questions to assess your memory, linguistic, and cognitive abilities. Other tests may be required if your healthcare professional suspects you have a significant memory impairment. Inform the provider if you are experiencing new or unexpected memory difficulties. Your provider will inquire about any recent head injuries as well as the medications you are currently using, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and vitamins.
Managing Memory Loss
Some memory loss cannot be addressed, but you may be able to prevent it from worsening. Your healthcare practitioner may need to stop, modify, or adjust the dose of some medications you are taking. In addition, the physician may suggest vitamins or supplements to assist strengthen your memory. Memory loss can be managed in the following ways:
- Learn in a quiet environment
- Write down important things
- Set up reminders
- Place items in fixed locations
- Ask for help
Choose Our Retirement Community
At our retirement community, we understand the difficulties that patients with memory-related disorders face. Our team gets specialized training and continued education in memory care, allowing us to provide the finest possible care for residents. This involves creating a personalized path of discovery for your loved one that touches on various facets of life. Our SHINE® Memory Care program is designed to help patients keep and maintain everything that their illness has taken away from them.