Memory Loss: When It’s Time to See a Doctor

by Austin Winder
A short haired blonde woman looks out over a lake during golden hour

Memory loss is a common problem among older adults. Many people have what they call “senior moments,” such as trouble remembering names or misplacing their keys.

Although not a sure predictor, memory loss is sometimes a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. If you are experiencing memory loss, see a doctor to determine if your symptoms are related to Alzheimer’s or any other disease. Getting diagnosed early on makes treatment much easier, and your doctor may even be able to prescribe you a medication that can help hold the disease at bay.

Signs That Your Memory Loss Is Serious Enough For You to See a Doctor

If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, schedule a doctor visit right away.

Repeatedly Asking the Same Questions 

People experiencing memory loss often ask the same questions repeatedly despite having been answered moments before. We all experience this from time to time, but if you or a loved one seem to be doing this more and more often, it may be time to visit a doctor.

Getting Confused Easily

Confusion is often a sign of memory loss. People who have memory loss may get lost in a familiar area, or look at the clock constantly because they keep losing track of the time.

[Related: Mental Health & Wellness Tips for Seniors & Baby Boomers]

Forgetting Everyday Words 

People may find themselves forgetting words that they used to use every day.  They may forget the meaning of the word or be unable to think of the word at all. Forgetting what they’re talking about mid-sentence is also common.

Getting Lost in a Familiar Area 

Sometimes an activity as simple as returning home from work or another familiar place can become daunting to people who suffer from memory loss. If a route that has been engraved in your memory is becoming unfamiliar, you should see a doctor immediately.  

Experiencing Memory Lapses 

A memory lapse occurs when someone can’t remember what was happening during a certain period of time. Memory lapses may begin to affect your daily life if they persist.

How to Counteract Forgetfulness 

Whether you’re already experiencing memory loss or just want to be proactive, these tips will help counteract forgetfulness.

Start Exercising More 

Exercise can reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes, both of which increase your risk of memory loss and cause potentially deadly harm to your body. Exercise can also fight mental decline and fatigue.

[Related: Exercises & Tips to Prevent Dementia]

Get More Sleep

The average adult needs 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you get fewer hours on a regular basis, your memory could be impacted. You can improve your sleep quantity and quality by maintaining the same sleep schedule. You should also cut down on your caffeine intake and limit digital screen time an hour before you go to bed. 

Cut Back on Your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol can keep your body from absorbing the incredibly important vitamins it needs to thrive. One of these vitamins is B1, which helps with metabolism. Without it, you could suffer from a loss of memory, among other side effects.

Learn Something New 

Learning something new improves your brain health; in fact, studies show that it can actually lead to physical changes in your brain. “Exercise” your brain on a regular basis by learning a new instrument or language or doing puzzles such as crosswords or sudoku.

Participate in Community Activities 

Getting involved in community activities gives you lots of opportunity to socialize, which has been proven to boost memory. Even better, activities such as charity work or church involvement allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. Meaningful engagement like this often makes people feel happier and healthier.

Join the Fit After Fifty community!

Featured image via Unsplash

Written by Austin Winder, a public relations specialist and contributing author for Prosperity Pointe

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