Everyone experiences lapses in memory in one form or another. They can happen for a variety of reasons including stress, depression, physical or emotional pain and some medications. Sometimes memory loss can be indicative of a larger problem, such as dementia or chronic illness.
When a person experiences recurring or ongoing memory loss, it is advisable to go and see a doctor. As always, if a person visits their doctor earlier rather than later, the more likely their chance of getting a diagnosis and treatment.
There is no single test that will determine whether someone has dementia, so a doctor will diagnose the patient based on talking to them, their family members and by conducting physical and neurological tests.
When seeing the doctor it is good idea to note down beforehand any concerns which you might have and bring the list to your appointment. The last thing you want is to be walking out of the doctor’s office and suddenly remember something important which you wanted to discuss.
Let your doctor know if you are taking any medications, which ones you take, as well as the dosages. Include any creams, inhalers, herbal medications and vitamins.
Be open and honest with your doctor. Avoid covering up any truths that your doctor might be able to use to diagnose you. Feel free to ask any members of your family who come with you to step out of the room while you talk to the doctor.
Lastly, remember that it’s your appointment. You can request more time, ask the doctor to clarify anything that you don’t understand, take notes during the appointment and discuss the option of a second diagnosis if you aren’t satisfied.
Visit Alzheimer’s Australia.
Take the memory test.