People with dementia usually develop some memory problems as their condition progresses. In fact, a loss of memory can be one of the first signs that something is wrong.
If you have concerns that a relative or friend might be developing dementia, then thinking about changes to their memory can help you work out if they have a problem. What kinds of issues should you look out for?
1. Short-Term Memory Loss
People with dementia typically have problems with their short-term memory. However, their longer-term memory won't necessarily be a problem.
So, for example, some people forget names, dates and places. They can't remember doing some everyday tasks. For example, if you ask someone with dementia what they had for breakfast later in the day, they might not remember having eaten this meal at all.
However, people with dementia often retain sharp and clear memories of the more distant past. So, they are more likely to remember their childhood and early adult lives. They won't have any problems remembering people, places or events from earlier times.
When someone has dementia, they often become more forgetful. For example, they might put something down somewhere and then forget where it is when they need it again. However, this memory problem is more complex than simply not remembering where an item is.
People with dementia forget how to do things; they lose conventional connections. So, for example, anyone can put their car keys down in a different place than usual and forget where they are. These kinds of items usually turn up in a logical place.
However, someone with dementia might also lose the ability to think logically. They might put car keys in the fridge, in the bath or in a planter in the garden.
3. Vocabulary Problems
It's not unusual for people with dementia to have problems with word selection. They forget the names of things or call them something different.
For example, if you're visiting a friend with dementia, then they might go to make you a hot drink. However, they might forget the words for tea or coffee. In some cases, they might find a related word or they might use a random word that makes no sense in the context.
If you are worried that someone close to you is showing signs of dementia, then try to persuade them to go to their GP. Memory problems are best investigated as soon as possible.Share
27 December 2019
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