From the National Institute on Aging comes some helpful information and practical tips for dealing with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
We’ve all forgotten a name, where we put our keys, or if we locked the front door. It’s normal to forget things once in a while. But serious memory problems make it hard to do everyday things. Forgetting how to make change, use the telephone, or find yo…ur way home may be signs of a more serious memory problem.
For some older people, memory problems are a sign of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or a related dementia. People who are worried about memory problems should see a doctor. Signs that it might be time to talk to a doctor include:
•Asking the same questions over and over again
•Getting lost in places a person knows well
•Not being able to follow directions
•Becoming more confused about time, people, and places
•Not taking care of oneself—eating poorly, not bathing, or being unsafe
People with memory complaints should make a follow-up appointment to check their memory after 6 months to a year. They can ask a family member, friend, or the doctor’s office to remind them if they’re worried they’ll forget.
Tips for Dealing with Forgetfulness
People with some forgetfulness can use a variety of techniques that may help them stay healthy and deal with changes in their memory and mental skills. Here are some tips:
▪Learn a new skill.
▪Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.
▪Volunteer in your community, at a school, or at your place of worship.
▪Spend time with friends and family.
▪Use memory tools such as big calendars, to-do lists, and notes to yourself.
▪Put your wallet or purse, keys, and glasses in the same place each day.
▪Get lots of rest.
▪Exercise and eat well.
▪Don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
▪Get help if you feel depressed for weeks at a time.