Memory Loss: When Should I be Concerned?

You may be worried about taking longer than before to learn new things, or how now and then you forget something important. When are memory issues age-related, and when should you be concerned? We have some general guidelines to help you sort it out.

Dementia is not Age-Related.

It’s not uncommon that it gets harder to remember things on occasion as we age. However, genuine memory issues make it challenging to do everyday things like driving, talking on the phone, and finding your way home. Dementia includes the loss of cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, learning, and reasoning. Those with dementia may also have problems with language skills, visual perception, or paying attention, even personality changes. It interferes with a person’s quality of life and daily activities. Memory loss, though common, is not the only sign of dementia. There are different forms of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common in people over age 65.

Signs you should talk with your doctor include:

  • Repeatedly asking the same question
  • Becoming mixed up in places, you typically know well
  • Difficulty following plans or instructions
  • Being more confused about time, businesses, and people
  • Inability to care for oneself such as bathing, eating, or unsafe behaviors

Why You Should Talk with Your Doctor

If you or a loved one are having memory issues, it’s time to talk with a specialist. Your provider can perform tests and evaluations that can help determine the cause. Memory loss and other thinking and reasoning issues have numerous potential causes besides Alzheimer’s or another dementia. These include brain injuries, depression, and medication side effects. In these cases, memory issues improve once the underlying cause is treated.

Is it getting harder to remember people's names?

You can make the right treatment plan moving forward when you know the reason behind the memory issues. Individuals with memory issues should plan to check their memory annually per the National Institute on Aging. Pacific Research Network offers FREE memory screens for adults concerned about their memory issues or at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. We also provide a chance to help advance medicine by enrolling in one of our upcoming studies. To learn more, call us at (619) 294-4302.

Sources:

https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/concerned-about-memory-loss.html

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/memory-forgetfulness-and-aging-whats-normal-and-whats-not

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