Is memory loss part of normal ageing?

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. With ageing there can be mild changes in memory and the speed of information processing. These changes are not particularly progressive and usually do not affect daily function. There can also be a decline in learning new information but not really in memory retention.

  • Examples of memory loss consistent with normal ageing would be
  • Being unable to remember details of a conversation or event from over a year ago
  • Forgetting names of acquaintances
  • Forgetting things and events occasionally.
  • Having occasional word finding difficulties
  • The situation where you are concerned about your memory but your family are not.

If you find that you need to ask the same questions over and over again, are getting lost in familiar places, are unable to follow directions, are getting confused about the time or who people are then it may be worthwhile chatting to your doctor about memory function. It is at this point that using successful ageing strategies that will be useful (discussed below).

A memory problem becomes serious when it begins to affect your daily functioning.