Recognizing & Managing Short-Term Memory Loss in Older Adults

Short-term memory loss means forgetting recent events. It’s common with age. It may also indicate dementia, brain injury, or mental illness. Short-term memory stores recently acquired knowledge. Scientists divide working memory and short-term memory. Short-term memory is usually discussed without distinctions. To deal with short-term memory loss, Convalescent Care Edmonton provides you with all of the necessary information. Read the following article:

Short-Term Memory Loss Indicators

Repeating a question after receiving the answer can indicate short-term memory loss. Other examples of primary memory impairment include hearing a story and not recalling what was said a few moments later or misplacing objects. Lastly, a person experiencing diminished active memory could have difficulty remembering something they just read or recollecting the details of something they witnessed minutes earlier.

Short-Term Memory Loss Contributing Factors

The brain’s hippocampus stores short-term memories. Concussions and brain infections both adversely affect the hippocampus.

Cancer Treatments

Primary memory loss is a potential side-effect of cancer treatment.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Radiation therapy

Short-term memory loss is common in those receiving therapies for breast cancer.


Prescription and illicit drugs can both interfere with active memory. Anti-depressants, opioids, sleeping pills, and steroids are prescription meds that can cause short-term memory loss. Cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana are among the street drugs that disrupt primary memory. Stopping the use of illegal drugs can restore short-term memory.


Primary memory loss is common in seniors who have a vitamin B12 deficiency. The Mayo Clinic reports that taking B12 supplements tends to improve memory. Multiple studies have established a link between a weakened memory and inadequate sleep. Seven hours of sleep nightly help older adults keep their ability to remember.


Any illness that affects the brain can impact short-term memory. Memory impairing diseases include Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and depression. Active memory impairment can be but isn’t necessarily an early symptom of a dementia disorder.

When Short-Term Memory Loss is Concerning

There are times when impaired short-term recall requires medical attention. For example, short-term memory loss that disrupts a person’s ability to live their life or might be related to another cause, like a head injury, demands medical intervention.

Diagnosing Short-Term Memory Loss

Isolating the cause of primary memory loss starts with an interview so the doctor can determine the presence of risk factors for short-term memory loss. After a routine exam and cognition test, the practitioner may order imaging to rule out any physical causes.

Medical Treatments

Active memory impairment resulting from a blood clot or bleeding could require surgery. Depending on the cause of the memory impairment, treatment options include changing meds, nutritional supplements, and drug rehabilitation.

Self Treatment

Using a mnemonic device, assigning a word or letter to a sequence of items aids recall. For example, “FACE” is a mnemonics device for remembering the notes between the lines on a piece of music. It also helps to keep the brain stimulated by doing puzzles or learning something new. Finally, there are lifestyle changes like giving up illegal drugs and getting enough sleep.

Hire Heath Care Professionals

Older people often take a variety of medications, including some that have been suggested by more than one doctor. Due to periodic forgetfulness, they occasionally exceed the required dosage of their medications. It is crucial to employ health care for persons with memory loss in order to maintain track of their medications and assist them in remembering various duties. The staff at Convalescent Care Services in Edmonton is proficient in dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

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