Memory loss

Learn more about Frontotemporal dementia

Memory loss is a distressing part of dementia, both for the person with dementia and for those around them. However, there is plenty that can be done to help manage memory problems to enable people to retain their confidence and independence for as long as possible. This page looks at ways to support a person with memory loss and offers some practical tips.

If you are concerned about your own memory, read our page on short-term memory problems for help and advice.

When is memory loss associated with dementia?

Memory loss is often one of the first signs of dementia. Initially, memory lapses may be mistaken for the normal forgetfulness that often increases as people grow older or when they become very stressed. However, in someone with dementia it will gradually become apparent that the memory problems are becoming more severe and persistent. They will also be accompanied by changes in thinking and feeling that make it more difficult to cope with everyday life.

Memory loss, as with any other aspect of dementia, affects each person differently. For example, some people with dementia retain certain skills until quite a late stage. They may recall a surprising range of facts or experiences, especially earlier memories, even though they are very forgetful about other things such as recent events or familiar situations.