Non-Alzheimer's Causes of Memory Loss

Memory loss can affect both short-term memory (the most recent memories) and long-term memory (old memories). This is because the condition can manifest itself as a sudden memory loss or a progressive one that happens over some time.

Short-term memory loss in elderly may not only be associated with Alzheimer's disease. There are other diseases that affect the brain and how it functions directly, and they end up causing severe cognitive impairment and memory problems.

Possible causes of memory loss

There can be several causes of memory loss, so it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as you notice the first symptom, especially when it comes to the elderly.

An evaluation by the doctors will determine the types of memory loss one is suffering from, whether long term or short term, it's timing, environmental factors that may cause it, and other noticeable symptoms. Below are some of the common causes of memory loss:

  • Stress, agonising emotions and anxiety

  • Depression

  • Drugs and alcohol

  • Bad nutrition

  • Medication

  • Brain tumour

  • Dementia

  • Memory loss and age

The most common symptoms of the different types of memory loss

The main symptoms of memory loss include the following:

  • Difficulty putting together the right words when one is speaking.

  • Continuously repeating the same questions and reciting the same repetitive stories in all conversations.

  • Not remembering to have done something, such as knowing whether or not the medication has been taken.

  • Disorientation, getting lost in places where you usually go regularly.

  • When one does not remember the day, date or year you are in.

  • Difficulty remembering past events.

  • Problems to act and make decisions.

When should you go to the doctor?

People with memory problems usually don’t know about their condition, especially the elderly. Hence, it is the duty of the family members and caregivers to always keep an eye on them and look out for the main symptoms when they start showing.

When an older adult starts having a difficult time doing their daily activities or looks confused and disoriented, it is time to start consultations with the experts. The doctor will examine the patient's condition and assess whether it is a mild or severe memory disorder since there are different memory loss disorders, and finally, decide on the most suitable treatment for each case.

How can I prevent memory loss?

Adopting healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, getting good and restful sleep, exercising regularly, having a healthy social life, being active and taking part in cognitive activities that sharpen and strengthen your memory are some examples of most effective ways to prevent and reduce the rate at which memory loss progresses among the elderly. It is also advisable to avoid harmful habits such as indulging yourself in smoking tobacco and alcohol consumption. Also, one is advised not to take some prescription drugs that cause memory loss if they experience the condition

Training the brain and the use of cognitive skills regularly strengthens and improves memory in the elderly. Playing games and performing exercises that stimulate the brain and improve different abilities, such as attention, perception, memory, language and the ability to make decision and taking action by yourself. People suffering from memory loss usually have problems with these abilities.

Performing activities that train and stimulate the brain, we help it to make the neural connections stronger, thus making it more resistant to deterioration.

Recommendations on how to help someone with memory loss

To add to the prescribed treatment by the doctor, it is also very important to cater for the safety of the affected person and to ensure maximus support is provided to them.

In cases of relatively severe memory loss, or if family members are concerned about the safety of their loved one, it is recommended to make adaptations to the home to prevent and avoid falls or any other accidents from taking place. It is also advisable to remove or hide objects that may cause any harm to those who suffer from memory loss.

To make up for the sudden loss of memory and disorientation or unexpected lapses, it is advisable to make clocks and calendars readily available to the patient so as to give them an idea of what time it is, date and year they are in.

Having a daily routine to follow can help in keeping the elderly more focused. In addition, a daily routine makes their home a pleasant environment, and this encourages them to do exercises and activities that stimulate their cognitive activity.

At Cuidum, we know and monitor these types of cases closely. We also believe that your loved one needs the daily assistance and care of the family member or caregiver irregardless of the severity of the patient’s memory loss. Family members or caregivers need to adequately attend to their needs so that they feel protected and accompanied.

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