Memory loss is a problem that affects almost all of us at some point. It may be major, it may be minor, and it almost always occurs naturally to a degree as we age. As in my case, it may also be bought on by sudden trauma, or even stress. In worst possible scenario cases, it may present as the precursor to Alzheimer's Disease.
Other causes of memory loss may include amnesia, where the memory is affected by organic or functional causes. Also Dementia may be a factor, the loss of memory due to old age. Dementia may actually be treatable and reversible if it has not reached an advanced stage. However it happens, it is not something we welcome, so how do we conquer it effectively?
Memory loss may also be evidenced by states of confusion or decreased levels of alertness, as well as an indicator of more serious problems in older adults. The inability to form coherent words in conversation or to make decisions are also a sign that something may be wrong and you should seek medical attention.
It is extremely difficult to prevent trauma induced memory loss, because traumatic events can not be foreseen. Simple actions such as wearing seat belts or protective helmets can go a long way towards preventing head injuries that may result in memory loss. My own injury was the result of not wearing a seat belt.
Treatment for memory loss is only possible if the loss was caused by a treatable condition, and even then success is not guaranteed. Memory loss due to aging can not be reversed, but steps may be taken to help the patient cope with it. The importance of family involvement should never be discounted; family members can take special orientation classes to teach them how to cope with their sick relative and how to help them make the most of an unwelcome condition.
There are ways to cope with your memory problems.
Keep lists. Lists provide a measure of organization, and if it is in front of you to read, you are not relying on memory recall to bring it to the forefront.
Have a routine that you follow every day. Sometimes it never hurts to just make certain things second nature.
Make associations (connections in your mind), such as landmarks to help you find various locations.
Keep a detailed calendar. The more detailed, the better. You can even program your computer to remind you when certain dates and events are approaching.
Put important items such as car keys, wallet, cell phone etc in the same place every time.
Repeat names when you meet new people. Repetition really helps ingrain the information for easier recall later.
Do things that keep your mind and body busy. The mind needs working out just like any other part of the body.
If you have trouble remembering a word, run through the ABCs mentally …. sometimes just hearing the first letter of a word can spark your memory.
Do not ignore the warning signs of memory loss. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, see your physician right away. With proper care and treatment, you can still have a rewarding and fulfilling life …
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