View Full Version : Common kinds of memory loss?

12-05-2009, 03:24 PM

I was just on vacation with my grandfather (he's 85) and was surprised to see that he cannot remember anything about food. He could no longer identify basic foods like ice cream, fries, rice, grilled chicken, etc. Have you noticed this with seniors in your lives? Beyond remembering recent events, are there specific everyday categories of things that are the hardest to remember for seniors or things I should look out for?

Many thanks.

12-05-2009, 04:32 PM
Hi Sandy,
Memory loss can be caused by various factors such as:
Adverse reaction to medication
Thyroid disease
Metabolic disorder
Head injuries
Benign brain tumors
Viral or bacterial infections
Parkinsonís disease

Sounds like your grandfather might have dementia. To be certain you would have to take him to the doctor for testing. There is a great list on the top of this board that tells you about Alzheimer's and the different stages. That might be helpful to you.
I am new to this board myself so I know you will get a lot of help from others on here.


12-05-2009, 06:24 PM
I don't know that anything is "specific" with this disease. Both of my parents are progressing into dementia, probably vascular or senile, although from what I read on this board there seems to be very little difference in those forms of dementia and Alzheimer's. Dad can't remember the word he wants to use, Mom can't remember anything else - but she can supply the word for him without any problem. The memory facet of dementia isn't the hardest one for me to deal with, it's the the lose of cognitive, reasoning, and logical thinking that I find hardest.

12-05-2009, 07:42 PM
Mom has a hard time identifying items but it's a communication cognition problem. She can't come up with verbs either and she doesn't understand what you are saying to her. What ever part of her brain, that identifies the exact word she wants, is short circuiting along with the part of the brain that understands the question (words) you are saying to her. But then again, at certain times, she will come up with a word here and there.

What other symptoms has he shown. Are there personality changes, inability to subract by 7 backwards from 100, repeating statements and stories, not remembering what has happened?

It is possible that this is from dementia but he truly does need a complete physical check up to determine if there is another cause.

Mom was well into her dementia (as much as 4 to 5 years) before she lost her words.

Love, deb

Martha H
12-06-2009, 03:29 AM
Personality changes (episodes of anger, false accusations, extreme stubbornness, refusing help obviously needed, extreme hoarding, neglecting personal cleanliness, dressing in odd combinations, hiding things) plus memory loss is probably dementia in one form or another. Add to this old age, and it is almost certainly dementia. Had it been a long time since you last saw him? Often we do not notice small changes happening every day, but after an absence they are very obvious.

Does your grandfather live alone or does he have help? He should not be alone at this point. HIs daughter or son ought to have Power of Attorney to handle his medical and financial affairs before it gets worse.

Have you considered blindness? Once a person has less than a certain % of eyesight, he is considered legally blind. That might add to his problem.

He needs a thorough examination by a doctor well acqyainted with the problems of the elderly - a geriatric specialist. Good luck!