Could memory loss be dementia?

If you're reading this because you think your memory problems may be a sign of dementia, rest assured that they probably aren't. Aperson with dementia won't usually be aware of their memory loss, ormay deny it.

Your memory loss is likely to be caused bysomething much more common and treatable, such asdepression.

You may beworried that someone you care for has dementia. However, bear in mind around 40% of people over 65have some type of memory problem, and only 15% will develop dementia each year.

If your instincts are correct, their denial or lack of awareness of their memory loss can make it difficult to convince them to see a GP. This fact sheet includes information about how to persuade your relative to see a doctor (PDF, 848kb) .

Signsthat someone hasdementia

As a general guide:

  • Dementia usually occurs in people over the age of 65.
  • The memory loss doesn't happen suddenly, but gets gradually worse over time.
  • Someone with dementia will struggle to remember immediate or recent events, but can still recall events that happened a long time ago. This means that if their long-term memory is affected, it probably isn't dementia.

  • Write information down, and keep paper and a pencil near the phone.
  • Keep a diary at home as well as at work to remind you to do daily tasks.
  • Use an alarm to help you remember to do something in the future, such as taking something out of the oven.
  • Repeatimportant informationyou need to rememberback to someone.
  • Content supplied by the NHS Website

    Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dez 2018