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Preparing to Discuss Memory Loss with a Doctor

April 05, 2013

Disability Living has devoted this week’s blog topic to memory loss and how it affects adults and children. Children’s memory loss issues (such as short term memory loss due to ADHD or learning disabilities) can be devastating to academic development. Adult memory issues can be even more serious, as they often result from disease and other health conditions. If you have noticed short or long term memory problems in either yourself or your child, we urge you to make an appointment with a health care professional as soon as possible. Continue reading to find out what you can expect from your doctor’s visit and how to best prepare for it.

Before you visit the doctor…

Are you planning on making a doctor’s appointment to discuss your memory problems? If so, consider preparing for your visit by jotting down the answers to these questions:

– Are there any activities you can no longer perform independently?
– Do you frequently feel confused?
– Do you ever try to cover up your memory issues out of fear or embarrassment?
– Did anything trigger your memory loss problems (examples: surgery, trauma, injury, illness, etc.)?
– Has the memory loss gotten worse, or is it staying the same?

Consider writing down the answers to these questions; they could come in handy at your doctor’s appointment.

What to expect when visiting a physician about memory problems.

When you visit a doctor to discuss issues pertaining to memory loss, here are a few things to expect:

– The doctor will ask whether or not you have a family history of memory loss issues (dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.).

– You will be asked what types of events you are forgetting (this will help the health care professional determine if you are experiencing long or short term memory loss).

– Expect to be asked how long you have been experiencing symptoms.

Support those struggling with memory loss.

Show support to a family member visiting a doctor about memory issues. Memory loss is serious, and it is no fun to deal with. People experiencing memory loss will need plenty of support from family and friends. If your close friend or family member is going to the doctor to discuss memory loss issues, please consider accompanying him or her.


Image made available by Moyan_Brenn on Flickr through Creative Commons License.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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