We all forget things, such as where we put our car keys or even someone's name. As we get older, it may feel like this happens more often. It is normal to forget things once in a while. It may also take longer to learn new things. This is normal and should not worry you.
When should I be concerned about memory loss?
Examples of memory loss that may be a sign of a more serious problem are:
Not knowing a close family member.
Getting lost in a familiar place.
Forgetting how to use a common object such as a phone.
When should I discuss my memory concerns with a health care provider?
Memory problems are those that reduce your ability to carry out normal daily chores. Signs of memory problems that you should talk to your health care provider about can include:
Having trouble doing daily chores.
Having problems with tasks you normally find easy to do such as driving a car, shopping, or handling money.
Getting lost going to places you have been many times.
Being confused about time, people, places or events.
Forgetting to bathe, eat or do daily tasks.
What to Do If You Are Concerned
Contact your health care team if you think you are having a problem with your memory. Let the team help you find the reason for your memory loss and potential ways to treat, prevent, or cope with it.
Some memory problems are treatable by improving diet, sleep or removing stressors from your life. Some treatable memory problems are:
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Injury or disease
Poor diet or not enough fluids in the body
Coping with Memory Problems
Visit your doctor and follow their advice
Use big calendars
Make a daily list of chores
Write notes to yourself
Print out steps for using household items
Keep items you use often in the same place
Use pill boxes and write down the times you take your medicines. Keep this list with your medicines. You can even add pictures of the pills with the list.
Healthy Body, Healthy Brain
You can keep your brain healthy by keeping your body healthy. Some steps you can take include:
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, and other lean proteins (avoid too much salt, fat and sugar)
Getting enough rest
Avoiding excess alcohol
Reducing stress in your life
Getting regular check-ups
Keeping your brain active and make time for hobbies
Meeting new people, connecting with family or friends