Mom's Sudden Memory Loss
Mom's memory diminished very quickly. In a matter of 3 months, she has lost short term memory ability.
Now when I visit and spend a morning with her, she has no recollection of the visit by that afternoon. When I talk with her over the phone, she seems to realize her problem but tries to cover it up.
I would like to know some ways to help her.
She was an avid reader all her adult life and worked crossword puzzles
to "keep her mind sharp", she often said. There is no history of dementia.
She doesn't want to journal
. We play Gin and Scribbage and she does pretty well with those. This site
is helpful (and fun) for me. It's my hope that I can get pointers on how to help her. Doug's Reply.
Carol, has your mom been to see a doctor about this yet?
Fast-declining memory ability could indicate a serious condition. Normal memory loss due to aging is usually a slower process. Forgetting recent experiences like your morning visits, and more frequent occurrences of memory lapses, may indicate something more
There are dozens of possible causes of memory loss
. Some can be reversed or managed. But in most cases the earlier the person gets professional medical treatment the better the outcome.
As just one example, consider Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
(NPH). This condition mimics Alzheimer's dementia
but is often curable. NPH is caused by fluid build-up in the brain that's hard to detect unless the doctor is looking for it.
With NPH, the problem if left untreated may become so severe the person is unable to hold a conversation, and they might be confined to a wheelchair. They have problems with balance, memory, and urination.
My point is, you mom might (or might not) have something going on that is treatable. The rapid decline may be a red flag
. But you won't know if this is serious or normal until she's evaluated by a physician.
Besides a physical exam, medical history, and other tests the doctor might recommend neuropsychological testing. This could include a written test to determine her cognitive strengths and weaknesses. For example, you said your mom can play card games (a strength), yet can't always remember that you stopped by for a visit (a weakness).
Rapid memory loss needs to be taken very seriously. As reported by the American Medical Association, it could indicate the possibility of a future stroke
. As the National Institutes of Health has reported, it could mean possible dementia
The first step is to have her visit a qualified physician to have it checked out.
This is information only. It is not medical advice
, diagnosis, or treatment.