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.