Worried about your memory?
It's not unusual, particularly as we get older, for the odd name or word to slip our memory, or that we forget where we have put things. It can be frustrating and annoying, but usually it's only a mild nuisance.
If you feel that lapses of memory are becoming more frequent, or if you're worried that your memory is getting worse, it could be an early sign of a more serious problem.
It's important to be aware that not all memory problems are a sign of Alzheimer's or other dementias. Tiredness, stress, overwork, anxiety, depression, some physical illnesses, poor diet or the side-effects of certain medications can all affect our memory.
Finding out what the problem is
If your memory problems are getting worse, begin to affect your daily life, or are worrying you, it's a good idea to visit your GP for a check up. You may not be developing dementia. But if you are then it can make a big difference if you find out early on. Knowing and understanding what's happening to you can allow you to accept your situation, and to make changes in your life which will enable you to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.
Your GP will examine you and ask a series of questions to test your memory. They will also ask about your general health, diet and mood to see if there might be another issue causing your memory problems.
Your GP may also refer you to your local Memory Service who will provide an assessment of your situation, diagnose your condition, and can link you into a wide range of support services.
If you have any questions about the way dementia and memory problems are diagnosed, contact your respective Dementia Adviser:
- Westminster Dementia Adviser
Dementia and Memory Resource Centre
42 Westbourne Park Road,
London W2 5PH
Contact: Saskia Fentiman
Tel: 07783 166 398
- Kensington and Chelsea Dementia Adviser
Age UK Kensington and Chelsea
Unit 24 Acklam Workshops
10 Acklam Road
London W10 5QZ
Contact: Mandy Andrews
Tel: 020 3181 0002
Other information and advice
Please see the Useful Contact information page for organisations and services that support people with experience of dementia.