Memory loss and dementia

Memory loss is a distressing part of dementia, both for the person with the condition and for the people around them.

Although it can be distressing, there are things that can be done to help people manage their memory problems and stay confident and independent for as long as possible.

This information looks at ways to support a person with memory loss and offers practical tips and advice on the subject.

Read our free booklet

This information is written for carers and those supporting a person with memory loss. For straightforward advice and practical tips written directly for the person with memory loss, get a copy of our free booklet called The Memory Handbook.

Get the memory handbook

When is memory loss associated with dementia?

Memory loss is often one of the first signs of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Initially, memory lapses may be mistaken for the normal forgetfulness that often increases as people grow older, or when they become stressed. However, in someone with dementia it will gradually become clear that the memory problems are becoming more severe and persistent.This will often be more apparent to family and friends than to the person themselves. Memory loss will also be accompanied by changes in the way the person thinks, behaves and feels. This can make it even more difficult to cope with everyday life.

Memory loss affects each person differently, as do all aspects of dementia. For example, some people with dementia retain certain skills for much longer, while others need assistance earlier on. A person may recall a surprising range of facts or experiences, especially memories from earlier in their life, but may forget recent events or familiar.

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