Have you ever forgotten a name or an appointment and said to yourself or a friend, “I must be losing my mind”? It’s frustrating and funny, but it’s stressful, too.
You probably are not, in fact, losing your mind. About 40% of adults 65 and older have some age-related memory loss, but only about 1% of those people will develop dementia in a given year. And if you’re younger than 65, your memory problems are even less likely to be caused by a disease.
So, plenty of adults worry about their memories. But when should we really worry? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties would like to share some insight.
What Causes Memory Loss?
Stress itself can cause people to be forgetful. When you’re stressed, you can’t pay attention well enough to form new memories, and you may have trouble recollecting old ones.
Sleep loss can also dampen your powers of recollection. In fact, lack of sleep is thought to be one of the main causes of forgetfulness. So if you’re having trouble recalling tasks on your to-do list, take a little time to de-stress, rest up and refresh.
Other Causes of Memory Loss
- Certain medications
- Drinking alcohol in excess
How Can I Protect My Memory?
Getting enough sleep, dealing effectively with stress and checking your medication list are good first steps. Also, find a reminder system that works for you. This can be anything from good calendar software to pencil-and-paper reminders.
Sometimes, of course, memory loss does stem from a disease such as Alzheimer’s. If you or a loved one is forgetting basic skills, such as how to cook familiar recipe, make an appointment with a doctor.
Day-to-Day Memory Savers
- Challenge yourself cognitively—play chess or learn a musical instrument.
- Keep a journal.
- Rather than multitask, focus.
- Use a reminder or calendar system.
Want to ask a provider a question about your health? Make an AFC TeleCare appointment with our AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties team to get the answers you need from home.