Dealing with memory problems

1. Types of memory problems

The Memory Handbook from Alzheimer's Society

Memory problems vary with each person. What you consider to be a problem depends partly on what you need or expect to be able to do.

Some very common memory problems include:

  • forgetting people's names
  • struggling to remember day-to-day events or experiences
  • misplacing items (eg keys, glasses) around the house
  • struggling with the steps in a recipe
  • finding it hard to follow conversations
  • forgetting appointments or important dates (eg birthdays)
  • getting lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey.

Reacting to memory problems

Everyone reacts differently to memory problems. Many people get frustrated or worried, or lose self-confidence. This is normal.

Talk to others around you. They might suggest more helpful ways of thinking, and you may be able to work together to find solutions. Be realistic and focus on memory problems that are having a real impact on your life.

Try to focus on what you can remember and can do. You may well have a good memory of events from many years ago. You can probably still do many things you learned a while back.

Living with memory problems

There are lots of things you can do to help you live well with memory problems.

  • You can use general approaches to coping with memory loss.
  • There are memory aids which can help you to cope better.
  • You could try specific memory strategies to help you maintain your memory. 
  • A healthy lifestyle will also make your memory work better in the long run.
  • The support of professionals, friends and family will help.