Memory problems are most often the first sign of dementia and the risk of less than graceful aging.
Memory signs that may appear in your loved one or parents:
- Retaining few facts in day to day life such as who they talked to, what was said in conversations and so on.
- Forgetting doctor appointments, lunch dates, arrangements or promises made
- Conversations are not completed due to loss of the necessary words to finish one’s sentence
- Confusion on the year, holidays, recent memories
If you are questioning the memory of your loved one or yourself, ask the following questions:
Day-to-Day Memory Issues
- Is it hard for you to make a decision?
- Do you have difficulty taking action?
- Do you lose keys, checkbook, etc.?
Detecting cognitive or thinking changes; the importance of the Sundowning syndrome:
- Realization that memory deficits may not appear until the sun goes down
- This means that people tend to look better at the beginning of the day and worse at the end
- Do not assume that someone is fine if you are only seeing them during the daytime hours.
Memory loss can occur with so many disorders; however, it may be one of the primary symptoms for the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Alzheimer’s dementia
- Cardiovascular dementia
- Certain medications
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Poor diet, low blood sugar
- Thyroid problems1
- Sleep deprivation, insomnia
1 Fisher, B., Ed., (2006) Attention Deficit Disorder, Practical Coping Mechanisms Second Edition Informa Health Care, New York, NY.