When should you speak up about memory loss?

Memory loss: When should you keep it to yourself, and when should you speak up?

Mature forgetful woman studying piece of paper

A little forgetfulness is perfectly normal. But as you age, you may find yourself second-guessing whether not being able to find your keys could be caused by something more. So when should you keep it to yourself, and when should you speak up and take action?

Some key indicators may include:

  • Not knowing the day or season
  • Forgetting the name of a close friend or family member
  • Getting lost in a familiar location
  • Misplacing items and being unable to retrace your steps to find them (although this does happen to the best of us, so don’t panic if this is your only symptom and it’s not happening often)
  • Having trouble managing your money (when you did not previously have difficulty)
  • People mentioning that you are more forgetful (although maybe they’re just being young and cheeky)

There are other considerations to make when deciding whether to speak up or seek help for memory loss. The first is change over time – have you always been like this? If your forgetfulness is new, then it is of more concern than someone who has always been a bit vague.

Another consideration is who to tell. You may feel comfortable confiding in a family member or friend, but if you feel they won’t be objective about your concerns, speaking to a doctor may produce better results. If your forgetfulness is related to an early form of dementia, you will have a better chance of treatment if you get onto it early. Speaking up may give you extra time, or your doctor may be able to reassure you that it’s nothing to worry about.

Whatever the case, if you’re genuinely worried then speaking up may give you peace of mind – and that can be valuable in its own right.

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