Mild memory management problems can happen to most of us as we get on in years – it is a natural progression and part of the aging process.
Learning new skills, retaining new information and ability to recall recent events may decline somewhat. However normal aging is not tantamount to significant memory unless there is an underlying disorder or disease.
So are your memory management problemsnormal? Are they just an inevitable part of aging or are they something that you need to do something about?
Symptoms of memory problems related to normal aging
It isn’t just older people, most of us will forget things from time to time. That tip of the tongue moment, being unable to locate the car keys occasionally, forgetting to run an errand or being unable to recall a name or word can happen to any of us.
As age catches up with us, these little niggles can get gradually worse. You may forget your keys a little more often, and search for your glasses only to find them perched on your head. You can have a better recollection of older events than more recent events.
For instance, if you do forget a name you are likely to remember it later in the day, probably when you’ve stopped thinking about it.
You may need to rely more upon lists than just your memory; and may have to make notes frequently to prevent yourself forgetting. All these memory management problems can be irritating but they are also normal and nothing to worry about.
The important thing here is that normal memory loss caused by aging doesn’t prevent a person from living a full, normal life, where one is largely independent and productive.
Signs that your memory management problems need help
However, when there are underlying disorder or mental diseases that are causing the memory loss this is cause for worry, and should be investigated promptly.
Worrying signs could be if you find yourself repeating the same story or asking the same question over and over. Forgetting not only names and words but common or familiar words could be another symptom. Not just forgetting where you’ve kept something but keeping things in inappropriate places (finding your cell phone in the fridge) may be another worrying sign.
Now the memory management problems may include losing your way in a familiar neighborhood, and being unable to do familiar tasks which you have performed many times before. These could be signs of progressive damage to the brain and that you should seek help quickly.