Getting Help for Memory Problems

Forgetful "senior moments" are not necessarily a warning sign of serious memory loss. But if they begin to interfere with your ability to take care of yourself and those around you, it may be time to talk with your doctor. "It's normal to have tip-of-the-tongue experiences for words you have not used recently," notes Deborah M. Burke, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Pomona College, in Claremont, CA. "But it's very unusual for a normal adult to forget a common, frequently used word, like spoon, or dog. Such word problems would warrant a medical checkup, including memory testing."

Your doctor can evaluate you for significant cognitive impairment or warning signs of dementia, a progressive, debilitating decline in intellectual and cognitive function. If you are showing either of the above, he or she may refer you to a specialist—neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, or, depending on your age, a geriatrician.

From our sister publication, REMEDY's Healthy Living, Spring 2011

Publication Review By: Deborah M. Burke, Ph.D., Laura L. Carstensen, Ph.D., Nancy Johnson, Ph.D.

Published: 08 Feb 2011

Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015