Ever forgot your home keys? Misplaced your spectacles? Not able to identify an acquaintance you met recently? Alert! You could be losing memory. Although memory loss does not necessarily happen in the aging process, it is essential to understand what should be considered as normal and what should be looked at with concern. As a first step, we must analyze and understand the difference between normal forgetfulness and what could be a serious memory loss problem. When it comes to elders or older adults, it is seen that forgetfulness is a most common grievance. You start to talk of an incidence from your younger years and suddenly there is darkness in front of you. You start giving address of your home or office, but can’t remember the very familiar street name. You venture in to the living room and then wonder why you went there in the first place.
In the past, memory loss and confusion were considered a normal part and parcel of the aging process. However, scientists now know that most people remain alert as they get older, although it may take them more time to remember things. People who have serious changes in their conduct, behavior and recollection may suffer from a form of brain disease known as dementia. Dementia utterly affects a person’s ability to carry out the day to day tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is one of commonly known types of dementia. To tide over this, we need assistance of a geriatric psychiatrist.
According to Dr. Manish Bajpayee, who is a leading geriatric psychiatrist in Pune, the brain surprisingly can produce new brain cells at any age, so remarkable loss of memory is not a predictable result of aging. It is very similar to your body or muscle strength, you have to make use of it or be ready to lose it. It must be noted that the lifestyle, health habits, and daily tasks have a vast impact on the health of the brain. Memory loss affects not only the person who has it, but the person’s neighboring family too. People with memory problems or dementia usually end up needing lots of assistance from their immediate near ones. It may be possible that at the advanced stages, they would be unable to do things on their own.
It’s time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, do not wait but immediately make an appointment to consult with your geriatric psychiatrist and have a thorough physical examination. Dr.Manish Bajpayee says, “The geriatric psychiatrist may ask you questions about your existing state of memory such as
- whether the difficulty came on gradually or unexpectedly
- whether you’re having suffering doing normal things
- what kinds of things have been tough to remember
- how long yourself or the ones near you have witnessed a problem with your memory”
Apart from this, there are few ways of keep a strong mind when you are getting old. You could play challenging games, socialize more. Another way is to put sticky notes at places where you know you will frequently look. Regular mental exercise leads to improved memory and sharpens the ability to focus and concentrate as well.