"I remember that birthday as clear as can be... but it's a struggle to recall what i did this morning."
Should I worry?
It's happened to all of us at some time or another. You can't put a name to a face, you forget where you put your keys, you can't remember where you parked the car. Most of the time, such slips are a nuisance rather than a sign of something more serious.
But if you are worried that your memory - or that of someone you know - is getting noticeably worse, or if memory problems are beginning to have a knock-on effect on everyday life, it is worth sharing your worries and seeking advice. That's because memory problems can sometimes be an early sign of a medical condition such as Dementia. Dementia is not a disease in itself. It's a term used to discribe a group of symptoms such as the gradual loss of memory, communication skills and the ability to think and reason clearly. Many people develop behaviour that can be seen as aggressive. Alzheimer's disease is probably the best known cause of dementia, but there are many more, such as vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy Bodies. It's possible to have more than one of the diseases that cause dementia at the same time.
Dementia affects everyone in different ways. Other signs of dementia could include feeling confused even when in a familiar environment or finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV.
There are many reasons for memory loss apart from dementia. But if there is a medical reason for your memory loss the earlier you seek help the better, as there may be support or treatment available that can help you.
What should I do?
You should seek advice without delay if your memory, or the memory of someone else, is getting worse and having an impact on your daily life.
- Make an appoinment to see your GP who will address your concerns or arrange for further investigation.
- Contact the local Alzheimer's Society office in Wigan on 01942 247837.
- Telephone your local contact for the Alzheimer's Society for advice and information: David Hanbury 01942 254219.
- Contact the Alzheimer's Society National Office on 020 7423 3500 or visit their website www.alzheimers.org.uk for a vast source of information.