Recognizing the symptoms of memory loss is the first step toward seeking treatment from a health care professional. Here are some things to consider as you get started.
Step 1: Do you have trouble with daily tasks? Note whether you have trouble completing daily tasks. Do you, for example, have trouble following a recipe?
TIP: Observe whether any difficulty with complex but familiar tasks is ongoing or increasing.
Step 2: Do you find it difficult to learn? Consider whether you find it difficult to learn and remember new information. Pay attention to memory loss tied to recently-learned information.
Step 3: Do you frequently forget important information? Note whether you frequently forget important information. Do you forget events or appointments?
Step 4: Do you frequently get lost? Observe whether you frequently get lost while walking to or driving to familiar places. People with serious memory impairment often have trouble with spatial relationships.
Step 5: Do you frequently misplace things? Be aware of frequently misplacing things. Do you put things in unusual places?
Step 6: Do you have difficulties handling problems? Consider whether you have difficulty knowing how to handle problems. Are the difficulties ongoing or increasing?
Step 7: Do you frequently exhibit poor judgment? Be aware of frequent episodes of exhibiting poor judgment. Problematic poor judgment often involves issues of memory.
Step 8: See a health care professional Recognize that any of these symptoms may justify your making an appointment with a health care professional for further evaluation.
FACT: The saying, "An elephant never forgets," is true: elephants have the biggest brains of any land animal, and one researcher witnessed a mother and daughter elephant recognizing each other after 23 years of separation.