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Signs of Memory Loss

Memory Loss

We’re all forgetful from time to time. When we see signs in others, particularly our parents, that it could be more than that, it’s hard to be sure. Part of that is lack of knowledge and part of it is not wanting to see our parents dealing with the effects of growing older.

One of the biggest signs of a serious problem is denial. It’s an instinctive reaction; only “old people” have memory problems. On top of that, loss of memory means that, to the person in question, the event or conversation never took place.

Denial can lead to anger, another sign of the problem. If your parent has no memory of being invited to an important event, it will cause hurt feelings and a lot of anger. If you are unaware that this can happen, it could also lead to problems within the family.

Repetition may be done from loneliness. This is often true of stories; there isn’t much new in the person’s life, so in order to have something to say, they repeat a story for the fifteenth time.

It can also be a clear sign of memory loss. If your parent asks you the same question every five minutes, with no clue they’ve asked it before, there’s a problem. Like the anger issue, being unaware of this can lead to family problems. It’s best to answer the question like it was the first time. For your parent, it is the first time.

We all lose things. Car keys, the remote and phones are frequently misplaced and then an all out search is needed. However, when the lost things include bills, important papers and that sort of thing, memory loss may be indicated. This isn’t a sure sign, but it can be part of the pattern.

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One sign it is a memory problem is when the item in question is found in an odd location. Going back to the bills, if you find them mixed in with the paper recycling, there could be a problem.

There is a good reason you should be looking for signs of a serious memory problem when you see any of these signs. There are two fairly silent signs, and they can cause serious complications. One is forgetting to eat. You may think that hunger would be the driving force behind remembering this. Age, medications and some medical conditions could lessen the ability to feel hunger.

Problems with medications can be even more dangerous. Your parent may forget to take important prescriptions, and increase their risk for heart attacks, strokes and other conditions. They may also forget they’ve taken the drug and take a second dose. This can lead to deadly results, particularly if the drugs are potent. Doubling or tripling a pain medication like oxycodone is very dangerous.

As hard as it is, if you see signs of memory loss in your parent, talk to his or her doctor. There are things that can be done. Doing so could benefit your whole family.