Memory Changes and Debunking Memory Myths

from the MediLodge of Rochester Hills Therapy Department

One of the main symptoms of dementia is memory loss. We all forget things from time to time, but the loss of memory with dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, is very different. It is persistent and progressive, not just occasional. It may affect the ability to continue to work, or carry out familiar tasks. It may mean having difficulty finding the way home. Eventually it may mean forgetting how to dress or how to bathe. An example of normal forgetfulness is walking into the kitchen and forgetting what you went there for, or misplacing the car keys. A person with dementia however, may lose the car keys and then forget what they are used for.

Debunking memory mythsMediLodge of Rochester Hills

Myth One: Forgetfulness is a sign that something is wrong with your brain.

Fact: If we didn’t possess the capacity to forget we’d all go crazy. The ability to remember what is important and discard the rest is a skill to be treasured.

Myth Two: You lose 10,000 brain cells a day, and one day you just run out

Fact: This is an exaggerated fear. Some parts of the brain do lose nerve cells, but not where the process of thinking takes place. You lose some nerve connections, but it’s possible to grow new ones, or maintain the connections you have, by exercising your mind.

Myth Three: Compare yourself to others to tell if your memory is normal.

Fact: A huge range of ability exists across the general population. Even a single individual experiences variations in memory over the course of a lifetime. Just as certain people have a talent for music and others do not, some of us are naturally gifted at various types of remembering.

Tips for keeping your memory sharp

As yet, there is no prevention or cure for dementia. However, here are a few tips for keeping your brain fit and memory sharp:

• Avoid harmful substances. Excessive drinking and drug abuse damages brain cells.

• Challenge yourself. Reading widely, keeping mentally active and learning new skills strengthens brain connections and promotes new ones.

• Trust yourself more. If people feel they have control over their lives, their brain chemistry actually improves.

• Relax. Tension may prolong a memory loss.Taylor Healthy Tips

• Make sure you get regular and adequate sleep.

• Eat a well balanced diet.

• Pay attention. Concentrate on what you want to remember.

• Minimize and resist distractions.

• Use a note pad and carry a calendar. This may not keep your memory sharp, but  does compensate for any memory lapses.

• Take your time.

• Organize belongings. Use a special place for unforgettable such as car keys and glasses.

• Repeat names of new acquaintances in conversation.

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