Determine What Type of Memory Loss you are Experiencing

Edited by Lor777, Innocent Yogo, Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles, Lynn

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Growing older does not mean losing the ability to think, reason or remember. Many older adults worry when they feel confused or forgetful, concerned that these are signs of dementia or senility. Senility actually just means "old age."

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Your brain selects and stores information or memory into three categories, each with its own purpose. Short-term memory is temporary. You look up a phone number and only remember it as long as it takes to place the call. Long-term recent memory allows you to recollect events of the past few days. A long-term remote memory holds your distant memories and bulk of knowledge. You could call remote memory the "database" of your life.

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As a common experience in the course of aging, the ability to recall long-term recent events may decline. Stress, depression, and other factors can impact memory temporarily. Staying active and challenging your memory can help keep this decline to a minimum.

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How to Sharpen Your Memory

  1. 1
    Exercise your brain
    Crossword puzzles and card games that require memory skills (like Concentration and bridge) are good.
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  2. 2
    Build your day around a routine.
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  3. 3
    Make grocery, birthday, and things-to-do lists.
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  4. 4
    Make associations
    If your wedding anniversary is October 10, think: "The minister was 10 minutes late."
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  5. 5
    When you meet a new person, pay attention to the name. Try to use it right away: "Nice to meet you, Hank."
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  6. 6
    Excessive worrying about whether you're losing your memory can be distracting and actually make you memory worse.
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Dementia is a serious decline in memory. Those with dementia forget whole events, not just the minor details. In the early stages, symptoms may be subtle. Over time, loss of mental powers becomes obvious. Recognition of people, places, or objects becomes difficult. Words and numbers can be hard or impossible to use. Disorientation can occur. Personalities alter. Some causes of treatable dementia include poor nutrition, medications, brain tumors, and certain other diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

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Alzheimer's disease and multiple-infarct dementia are responsible for two-thirds of all cases of dementia. Alzheimer's causes a slow, steady decline in mental powers, and is the most common cause of dementia. Although it can occur at any age, it is more common in later years. There is no current cure for this ultimately fatal disease. Researchers, however, are learning more about the disease all the time. Multiple-infarct dementia, on the other hand is a result of small strokes (infarcts) that destroy brain tissue. The decline occurs in stages.

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How to Create a Safe and Orderly Home Environment for Someone with Dementia

  1. 1
    Lock away chemicals, drugs, and other potentially harmful substances.
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  • 2
    Put bells on doors or door knobs.
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  • 3
    Provide the person with an ID bracelet to wear.
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  • 4
    Use signs to identify the bathroom, bedroom, etc.
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  • 5
    Provide healthy foods and plenty of fluids.
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  • 6
    Stimulate the senses with touch, songs, hugs, and exercise.
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  • 7
    Review all medications and dosages with a doctor or pharmacist .
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  • If behavior problems arise, try to divert interest to something else such as food, a colorful book, or a loving pet. Always encourage the person to live life to the fullest potential. Daily routines, gatherings with friends, and memory aids all help maintain person dignity. It's equally important to remember that the caregiver has special needs and considerations as well.

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    Tips Tricks & Warnings

    • Memory loss is not necessarily serious.
    • Talk with a doctor if someone you know is having increasing symptoms of dementia.
    • Some causes of dementia can be treated.
    • Relaxation techniques may be helpful to sharpen your memory.


    Questions and Answers

    What home remedies help reverse dementia in the brain?

    Having been closely linked to Alzheimer's disease, dementia is one of the most dreaded medical conditions. It is said to be not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of many other nervous system illnesses. Close to 60 percent of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can also exhibit dementia symptoms. Other causative factors include hydrocephalus, stroke, folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies, Huntington's disease, Lewy body disease, Parkinson's disease, illegal substance abuse, and traumatic head injuries, and more.

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    Many people are now looking into alternative or natural remedies that can be done right at home to ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones who are suffering from dementia. Here are some of the top home remedies for dementia patients:

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    • Massage Therapy -
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      The use of massage as treatment for dementia has been proven to reduce or alleviate some of its disturbing symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Massage is known as both a relaxation and therapeutic treatment than can manage stress, which is one of the main precursors of dementia, as well as other debilitating medical conditions that affect other organ systems.
    • Aromatherapy -
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      The use of essential oils for aromatherapy sessions at home is regarded to be one of the most effective alternative home remedies in the management of dementia symptoms. This is said to inhibit the production of cholinesterase in the same way that OTC medicines work, but without the harmful side-effects experienced with chemical-based medications. Aromatherapy consists of a variety of pure and high-grade therapeutic oils such as lavender, rosemary, lemon, and mandarin, among others. It is recommended to allow the patient to choose the combination of scents or essential oils that will be used in aromatherapy sessions. Most of these sessions are best integrated with massage therapy. Recent studies conducted with aromatherapy done on patients with dementia have produced highly beneficial results that have shown reduced stress, agitation, depression, and irritability, as well as improved sleeping patterns and cognitive skills.
    • Music Therapy -
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      Music can evoke a wide range of emotions in an individual, and is in fact regarded as a powerful therapeutic treatment for dementia sufferers. Music therapy can be done right at home, utilizing either "white noise" or familiar music genres that the patient is accustomed to. It is important that you know what types of music or artists your loved one would enjoy. If it is possible to let the patient pick the song he loves, then do so. Allow them to pick a calming tune that can be played when the patient is exhibiting overt signs of agitation or anxiety. On the other hand, if the patient is feeling a bit low or depressed then you should play an upbeat song of his or her favorite artist. This is also your cue to inject humor and interactive gestures to enhance mental and motor skills like clapping, stomping, or other body gestures that he or she is able to perform with ease. Allow the patient more room to enjoy his music by minimizing external distractions like television or loud conversations. Make sure that the volume is set just right to avoid triggering mood swings or other erratic behavioral changes. This type of therapy has been proven to manage and improve dementia symptoms, even in its late stages.
    • Art Therapy -
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      Participation in art activities encourages an individual to explore and express creativity at his own pace. This is a great therapy for dementia patients to be able to have that sense of accomplishment with each stroke and splash of color. This is a healthy way of conveying one's thoughts and ideas with the use of canvass and brushes. Be careful about the materials you choose for the art projects. Make sure to use safe and non-toxic paint materials. Encourage active interaction with the patient that has something to do with his creation. Ask him what he is trying to create, what it represents or remembers with the creation, and how he feels about the entire process. Make the art therapy light and interactive for the patient. This is deemed to be very effective in managing stress, irritability, depression, sleeping disorders, and the like.
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    Article Info

    Categories : Mental Health

    Recent edits by: Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles, Innocent Yogo, Lor777

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